LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Interactive Video Game Companies made a final offer to video game performers that included an immediate 9 percent wage hike if SAG-AFTRA union members ratify the offer by Dec. 1 as part of a Comprehensive Revised and Enhanced Final Package Proposal for a new three year contract. But the union is still scheduled to strike on Friday.
The Companies and SAG-AFTRA brought in a Federal Mediator Wednesday. “We had hoped this would be successful, but union leadership left mediation without providing a counteroffer. We urged union leaders to put the package to a vote of their membership, but union leaders refused,” said Scott J. Witlin of the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, the chief negotiator for the Companies.
The Companies’ offer of an immediate 9 percent raise accelerates the 3 percent annual increase sought by SAG-AFTRA negotiators over a three-year period.
As an added component, the Companies also offered Additional Compensation to performers of up to $950 per game based upon the number of sessions a performer works on a particular game. This, too, is conditioned upon a Dec. 1 ratification by SAG-AFTRA members. Together with the wage hike, this package could increase overall compensation by up to 23 percent for typical sessions, and in some cases more.
“We improved our offer to demonstrate our willingness to reach a fair, mutually-beneficial agreement after 18 months of negotiations,” Witlin added.
“We value our performers and their dedication,” Witlin said. “The union has demanded a contingency fee based upon number of games sold or subscribers. Instead of that, we are offering to immediately reward the hard work of performers through this accelerated raise and Additional Compensation package.”
In summary, if ratified by Dec. 1, the Comprehensive Revised and Enhanced Final Package Proposal would bring the typical 4-hour voice over session and on-camera day rate to $900 as well as providing the Additional Compensation of up to $950 per game depending upon the number of sessions worked.
SAG-AFTRA unilaterally announced on Sunday that it will begin a strike on Friday, Oct. 21. The Video Game Companies said they hoped an agreement would be reached, but want fans to know that the majority of upcoming games already in production will be unaffected by any SAG-AFTRA strike due to the nature of the “No Strike Provisions” of the collective bargaining agreement.
The parties largely reached agreement on other outstanding issues including vocal stress and stunt coordination and have made substantial progress on transparency, he said. “We appreciate the hard work SAG-AFTRA has put into studying workplace safety and vocal stress,” Witlin added.
“We look forward to working with the performers and SAG-AFTRA to continue to explore ways to further enhance the working environment,” he said. “Many of the Companies and people on our committee are the best evangelists for the use of SAG-AFTRA members in this industry. We hope SAG-AFTRA does not precipitously rush into a strike that will immediately and directly take money out of their members’ pockets.”
Contact: Sam Singer