The national board of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has voted to send members who work in the video game industry a referendum on the proposed new Interactive Media Agreement. The referendum will also be available to any paid-up SAG member in good standing who requests a ballot.
The referendum will be mailed out on July 13th, and is due back by July 28th. As a result of the board's decision, game producers have extended their contract offer to July 31st. The board elected not to include a formal recommendation either for or against the proposal.
The board's action follows the Guild's National Executive Committee rejection of the tentative agreement
, even after it had been approved by the smaller American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) union, and recommended by the SAG negotiating committee and SAG staffers. The Committee then agreed to reconsider the contract
, with its meeting yesterday leading to the organization of a referendum for members.
Negotiations on a new contract began between the unions and video game companies in February 2005, before breaking off on May 13th
, when strike authorization votes were called by both SAG and AFTRA. Before the authorization votes were concluded, a tentative agreement between the producers and unions was reached
on June 8th, which was reluctantly endorsed by the SAG negotiating committee - who had hoped for additional royalty benefits.
The referendum materials will include a formal summary of the proposed agreement. In the coming week, the Guild will notify all paid-up members in good standing wishing to vote on the contract about how to request and receive ballots.