If you are a BECTU member you will have been e-mailed this morning (30th October) by BECTU HQ inviting you to take part in the ballot to ratify (or not, as the case may be…) the agreement of a new set of terms and conditions negotiated between PACT and BECTU, covering feature films with a budget of £30m and over. This notice is just to make it clear to you that your Post-Production and Facilities Branch committee strongly recommend that you vote in favour.
Reps from our branch have been involved in these negotiations, representing our best interests, making sure our voice is heard amongst all the other departments. The talks have been prolonged and difficult and there have been some big wins for our members. Of course, as is the nature of any negotiations, some compromises have had to be made. However, the deal is the best which could be achieved at the current time. There is scope for reviewing the agreement going forward. And the very fact of having an agreed set of terms and conditions (which we’ve not had for many years) gives us a base to build from.
There have been some scurrilous e-mails flying around which you may have received from a rather cowardly anonymous sender who clearly had no involvement in the negotiations (I say ‘clearly’ because there are a number of factual errors contained therein). BECTU HQ have written the following in response:
‘BECTU has just been made aware of some more emails from the anonymous sender inventing further lies in the hope of creating division between branches. This is extremely annoying when reps have given up their time and work commitments to help build a fair structure for terms and conditions. I would also like to dispel a few myths being circulated by this individual or individuals.
‘Union membership is dwindling – BECTU currently represents over 40,000 people in the entertainment and communications industry and 15,000 freelance members who work across film and TV. Freelance membership continues to grow at roughly 15% a year and we are the largest audio visual union in Europe. The anonymous email, strangely, quotes a figure relating to overall union membership in the whole of the UK private sector (unrelated to us) for some peculiar reason.
‘Agreement has been made in secret – Every branch has been strongly encouraged to send representatives to the negotiations and play an active part. Draft documents have been circulated each time we have concluded on any detail. The only secret is the creator of these anonymous emails.
‘Union reps mostly do not work on major feature films – This is contemptible. Our reps have worked on some of the largest jobs made in the UK and abroad. This is insulting to those members that gave up their time for the benefit of the industry and the members they represent. This disparaging comment is disrespectful to those reps that have spent over 100 hours negotiating the draft agreement during a 4 month period. It’s shameful, especially when the emailer hides their own identity and tries to demean our negotiators’ character.
‘People who earn much more than us want to abolish the current OT - Below is a brief list of what has been negotiated and for the vast majority of members it’s a step forward. Also, it’s a platform for future talks and exchanging information. Currently nothing in the industry exists that summarise the terms you can be employed on. Additionally, this draft agreement is about looking forward and how we can build a strong, but fair agreement that supports you and keeps inward investment coming to the UK.
- Agreement will be monitored regularly and reviewed annually.
- Overtime is paid at 2T on camera and 1.5T for non-camera – cap at £81.82.
- New wording about restricting the 3rd hour OT.
- No grace period – 15 unpaid minutes the director could call every day has been removed.
- 6th consecutive day worked is paid at 1.5T.
- 7th consecutive day worked is paid at 2T.
- Bank holidays paid at 2T or 1T if not worked – includes dailies.
- Night work is clearly defined and deals with split days and have clear restrictions of working 6 night block in succession.
- Members will get £20 each night (including dailies) and 1.5T if worked a 6th night.
- After working a block of 5 or 6 nights members receive a minimum rest period of 35hrs, 48hrs or 59 hour + a paid rest day on top.
- Early calls (before 5am) are paid at 2T
- Broken TOC is paid at 1.5T capped at £45.
- OT paid when the meal break is delayed beyond 6 hours and keeps going until the member stops for lunch. OT also paid for curtailed lunch.
- New provisions for a 20 minute break after 12 hours.
- Travel now has a list of recognised studios which are fixed. OT paid beyond 30 road miles travel.
- The agreement has a disputes resolution procedure for dealing with disagreements. Nothing is currently in place for dealing with disputes on set.’
The PP&F Branch Committee