Our branch AGM is coming up on Thursday 8th June. It’s been a year since the current committee were voted into position, and now we need to elect a new one. If you were interested in joining the committee, it’s a fully democratic process so just put yourself forward. Or if you just want to come along and give your opinion about what we’ve been up to, the AGM is your chance to do so.
Here's a little blurb about what’s involved.
The way the branch is run is dictated by a set of by-laws, and yes, these are as boring as they sound.
We’re allowed a maximum of 15 people on the committee. Nominations are made at the AGM and votes cast. The current committee consists mainly of picture editorial types; one factual editor, the rest drama assistants and editors working in TV or film. In an ideal world the committee would include more sound editors, and more employees from facilities, whom we are supposed to represent, more women and more BAME members.
We have 6 committee meetings and 3 general meetings a year, held in the West End. Committee members try to make it along to add their voice to the subjects being discussed. Not everyone manages it (particularly those who are working at studios) and that’s OK, we also have a Slack group where we discuss issues. It’s vital that we have people from a range of grades and disciplines to be part of that ongoing conversation.
Meetings are run in a pretty standard way, an agenda is sent out a little before the meeting, to give time for people to peruse / add anything, to bring up topics or issues that are particularly pertinent or pressing. These matters get discussed, votes taken if needed, and actions agreed. Our BECTU Branch Official always attends these meetings, so they’re abreast of what we’re working on and can take necessary actions.
We’ve got a lot done in the past year:
- we’ve set up this website and made a good start at filling it with interesting content (if you have anything to contribute get in touch!)
- we’ve updated our ratecards
- we’ve developed a system for implementing our ratecards which will be rolled out soon
- we hosted a ‘Rough Assembly Talk’, a panel discussion featuring top assistant editors, attended by over 100 aspiring editorial crew
- we’ve designed and manufactured some beermats to distribute to facilities to get the word out there
- we’ve run competitions
- we’ve had regular Wednesday lunchtime get-togethers in Soho
- we’ve rejigged our branch slightly so that sound editors are now included, rather than being in the ‘sound’ branch with sound recordists
- we hosted a ‘Tax Talk’ with tax guru Tony Lennon, giving advice about how changes in tax legislation will affect freelancers / limited companies
- we have sent delegates to the PACT / BECTU TV drama negotiations, which have resulted in a new set of terms and conditions. Every branch has been involved in these talks, but we’ve had reps there to make sure our voices are heard
- we’ve also sent delegates to the PACT / BECTU feature film negotiations, which are ongoing
- we’ve set up a Facebook group, which has approaching 400 members
- we have Instagram and Twitter feeds
- we’ve sent delegates to the London Production Division Committee (the next layer up in the union, where all the branches get together to discuss matters)
- one of our committee is on the NEC (National Executive Committee) (the top layer of the union) to make sure our concerns are represented there
- we’ve sent delegates to the BECTU sector conference, to keep abreast of what’s what’s happening at a national level
As a result our branch membership is climbing all the time.
There are a number of posts with more specialist roles.
The main responsibility of the chair is to run the branch meetings. The idea is that decisions are taken in a fully democratic and fair way, that everyone has an equal opportunity to express their views. In reality, our meetings are run in a very relaxed manner…
The secretary publishes agendas, takes minutes of meetings and publishes these, and is responsible for communicating what we’re up to with the rest of the members of our branch.
Branch Learning Rep
BECTU are looking to make more of the training that they offer, and part of this drive is to elect a training officer to each branch, which we will do at this coming AGM. So we can ask to run a particular training course which will be of use to our members, BECTU organize and provide at cost.
Website Editor / Communications
This year we’re going to appoint a specific website editor (in reality this will probably be shared between a few people).
The AGM open to all BECTU members who are part of the Post-Production and Facilities Branch.
If you do feel inclined to join the committee, it’s a great way to meet new people, and we’ve no doubt you’ll find it rewarding and fun!