Despite what the video game employers restated today, SAG-AFTRA has not received a fair offer that would resolve our negotiations. The union remains committed to reaching an equitable solution while employers are the ones who continue to be intractable in their bargaining.
As a result of Monday’s developments, the SAG-AFTRA Interactive Negotiating Committee issued the following statement:
We know where our members stand, and we will put a deal in front of the SAG-AFTRA membership when we have an agreement our committee can recommend.
Their attempt to characterize their offer to make “additional compensation” payments at the time of session as equivalent to our “contingent compensation” proposal is disingenuous and misleading. These employers know full well that our issue is the creation of secondary payments that allow our members to share in the success of the most successful games. The employers’ offer purposely does not do that.
The video game companies claim they “did everything in their power” to reach an agreement with us. In fact, we accepted their offer of an upfront payment option in order to avoid triggering any secondary payments. This would have allowed them to preserve their existing compensation practices.
We simply asked to include secondary payments as an option in the agreement. This would allow other producers to avoid those upfront costs by agreeing to share their prosperity on the back end — if their game was successful. The game companies we are negotiating with adamantly refused to allow such an option to exist in the contract. That is why we find ourselves at such an impasse.
As we have stated in the past, we put forward a clarification regarding stunt coordinators in order to highlight the many reports we have received where a stunt coordinator was not present as required, including multiple reports of injury. In the end we agreed to refer the issue to the cooperative committee because it ultimately relates to the need for improved attention to existing language.
Meanwhile, what the employers dismissively characterize as a strike over “terminology” is actually a strike over the respect and compensation that professional performers deserve. Secondary payments are what enable professional performers to survive between jobs and reflect the respect they earn for contributing their creativity, talent, voices and likenesses to the games they help bring to life.
Now, management continues to ignore the SAG-AFTRA members who lend their voices to the industry’s greatest games.