Following an overwhelming endorsement from BECTU freelance members, the union has signed off on the first sector agreement covering crew in TV drama since 2003.

Head of BECTU, Gerry Morrissey visited the offices of PACT, the independent production employers organisation, to sign the agreement which was also signed by Pact’s John McVay.

Earlier in May, BECTU members were balloted on a new TV drama sector agreement that the union has been negotiating with the employers’ organisation PACT since 2015. The ballot closed on Friday 26th May with a huge 97.4% endorsement of the union’s recommendation to accept the terms that had been negotiated.

Head of BECTU, Gerry Morrissey said:

“The union is very pleased with the ringing endorsement that our members have given to our negotiators. We believe that this agreement is a step in the right direction. It represents improvements in the terms and conditions that our members work under, and it creates a standard of consistency that helps everyone in the industry."

Morrissey was full of praise for BECTU’s negotiators, and also had thanks for the employers’ negotiators:

“I want to thank the significant number of BECTU members from all departments were prepared to give up many weekends, and in some cases, to turn down work so that they could attend weekday negotiations in order to get this agreement into a form that would be acceptable to our members."

They performed the difficult job of consulting the thousands of freelance workers in this sector informally to make sure that they were speaking for the widest body of workers before they agreed to anything. The 97%+ endorsement is a real testimony to exemplary work on their part and I have nothing but praise for them.

In addition to this, the employers entered these negotiations in a spirit of good faith and we saw a willingness to engage with our members and to be flexible and constructive in finding a way through the many difficulties that we faced. On behalf of our members, I want to thank them for this and I look forward to the regular reviews that we will be holding over the coming years so that we can embed this agreement into working practices.

Finally, I want to thank BECTU officials who have worked in this, including Tom Bell, who retired shortly before the final stages of the negotiations.”

Full details of the agreement are available on the BECTU website.