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Actor's Union Votes For Video Game Contract

Directors of AFTRA have voted to extend the actor's union's video game contract, and will ask union members to ratify the change -- which would give actors in games a 2.5 percent pay raise.
Following a recent contract renegotiation, directors of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have voted to extend the actor's union's video game contract, and will ask union members to ratify the change. The proposal, if approved, would give actors a 2.5 percent pay raise and a .2 percent increase in employer contributions to health and pension beginning January 1, 2010. It would also create a new category for actors in games, "atmospheric performer." AFTRA, along with fellow performer's union the Screen Actors Guild, have been working with video game producers to develop new contracts, and earlier this month the unions made considerable additions and changes to their contracts with developers. Back in 2005, the two organizations threatened a strike, but eventually called it off and ratified new contracts that stood until last December. At that time, a Variety report claimed only 10 to 15 percent of video game voice work is done by SAG or AFTRA actors -- although included in that figure are such heavy hitters as Halo and Madden. Wages for game voice actors under SAG were raised by 3 percent, bringing them in line with existing AFTRA wages. This would be followed by a 2.5 percent wage increase for both organizations' workers on April 1, 2010. The SAG agreement is still awaiting ratification. "AFTRA members pioneered union work under the Interactive Media Agreement in the early 1990s, and today this contract generates millions of dollars in earnings and benefits for thousands of AFTRA members in both large and small markets around the nation," said AFTRA president Roberta Reardon in a statement.

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