Interactive video game companies have made a final offer to video game performers, including an immediate 9 percent wage hike, if SAG-AFTRA union members ratify the offer by Dec. 1 as part of a new three-year contract, management said Thursday, but the union is still scheduled to go on strike 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,” Scott J. Witlin of the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, the companies’ chief negotiator, said in a statement.
The companies’ offer of an immediate 9 percent raise was an improvement over the 3 percent annual increase sought by SAG-AFTRA negotiators over a three- year period, according to the statement.
As an added incentive, the companies offered additional compensation to performers of up to $950 per game based on the number of sessions a performer works on a particular game. This, too, is conditioned upon a Dec. 1 ratification by SAG-AFTRA members, the management statement said.
“We improved our offer to demonstrate our willingness to reach a fair, mutually beneficial agreement after 18 months of negotiations,” Witlin said.
In summary, if ratified by Dec. 1, the Comprehensive Revised and Enhanced Final Package Proposal would bring the typical 4-hour voiceover session and on-camera day rate to $900 as well as providing additional compensation of up to $950 per game depending upon the number of sessions worked, according to the statement.
SAG-AFTRA said Sunday it would launch a strike on Friday, according to management.
The parties largely reached agreement on other outstanding issues, including vocal stress and stunt coordination, and have made substantial progress on transparency, Witlin said, adding: “We appreciate the hard work SAG-AFTRA has put into studying workplace safety and vocal stress.”
“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.”
There was no immediate comment from the union, either about its strike plans or the latest management offer.
—City News Service
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