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SAG, Game Makers Agree on Contract Terms

1 Aug, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner

Members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) have approved a deal with game makers that will put the actors back to work voicing game characters.

SAG's national executive committee scuttled an 11th-hour deal in June, although representatives for the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) approved the new, 3-1/2-year contract. The deal includes a 36 percent increase in minimum pay over the term and higher benefit contributions.

SAG's three-year interactive contract expired May 13, and the national board approved the tentative new deal June 8.

But the producers refused the unions' demands for residuals. Later, they sent the deal to the membership for a second vote.

SAG members approved the deal by a margin of 81.2 percent to 18.8 percent.

Of 3,373 ballots mailed, 42.8 percent were returned (1,932 ballots were sent automatically to members identified as having earnings under the previous interactive contract; an additional 1,441 guild members requested and received ballots).

“By voting for this contract, SAG members have achieved major gains, despite the fact that we were not able to win in the area of residuals,” said SAG chief negotiator Sallie Weaver. “The interactive market is of vital importance to our membership, and SAG will spend the next three-and-a-half years devoting resources to further organize this exploding industry so that we can return to the bargaining table with renewed strength and vigor.”

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