WHO ARE WE?

We are sound editors, trainees, assistants and mixers; both freelance and facility employees.

We work on the broadest range of projects within the Post Sound world; everything from fast turnaround TV shows through to Major Motion Pictures.

We feel there is a need and desire to form a community to better help each other with working conditions, and we decided the best place for us is within the Bectu structure to take advantage of their negotiating experience and weight of numbers.

Together we are better informed and have a stronger bargaining hand.

 

What We Want

OUR FUNDAMENTAL AIMS ARE SIMPLE:

TO BE PAID FAIRLY FOR THE HOURS WE WORK AND TO MINIMISE UNREASONABLE WORKING CONDITIONS.

  • Notice of Hiatus 1 week Minimum

  • Notice of End of Contract 1 week Minimum

  • Evening Meal provided after 8pm

  • 6 Hours Maximum between meal breaks

  • Kit set-up time to be charged @ 1/2 day if production request set-up before contract start

  • Studio space chargeable when not supplied by production 

  • 8+1 hour day

  • Post 9 hours into Overtime @ 1.5x Hourly Rate

  • Post 14 hours into Overtime @ 2x Hourly Rate

  • 6th Day Worked Payable @ 1.5x Daily Rate

  • 7th Day Worked Payable @ 2x Daily Rate

  • Public Holidays Worked Payable @ 2x Daily Rate 

  • Public Holidays Not Worked Payable @ 1x Daily Rate

  • Hiatus Retainer Payable @ 1/2 Weekly Rate. This does not include Kit Rental.


The terms above were gathered from many conversations across the post sound industry, and form the basis of what we would like to see included in future Major Motion Picture PACT agreements. Some of these conditions are already contained in the existing agreement, but we thought it worth leaving them on the list so anyone can use them as a set of guidelines when negotiating their own deal.

This is a starting point and we have aimed high; they are our ultimate goals. This means some of these terms will take longer to achieve than others, however our ideal working conditions would adhere to everything on this list. The hope is to see these terms agreed and then trickle down from the £30m+ budget to include everyone working within our post sound world. 

If you want to join us please click on the Membership link below.

Long Term Goals

  • Establish Parity with another film sector within BECTU.

  • Establish a Minimum Wages rate card, with varying bands from Micro to Major budget, for both Features and TV work.

  • Establish a yearly wages review.

  • Establish an Industry set of Good Practices, to consider issues like pencilling and POs.

  • Get a healthy number of Post Sound workers from across the sound world voted on to the Branch committee.

  • Elect negotiating reps from Film and TV areas.

  • Look at ways to ensure facilities pass on the PACT contract conditions to Freelancers working on projects covered by the Agreement.

  • Establish an Accreditation Scheme for facilities to adhere to BECTU working standards for their employees.

  • Look at ways to improve representation throughout the industry.

  • Look at ways to empower individuals to negotiate on their own behalf.

  • Continue to build a connected sound community. 

Help and Advice

 

Doing our own negotiations is the area most of us would admit is our weakest.

To overcome this we need to start establishing the working practice of putting forward our terms very early on in the conversation with employers.

Here is an example set of Ts & Cs that one supervising sound editor uses, which you can take a look at and adjust to fit.

Especially useful for quick turnaround jobs in the TV world, with establishing a locked cut principle and charging for any subsequent recuts.

It’s also worth looking at the benefits section of the BECTU website.

There are lots of areas you can get help and advice in, from Legal and Tax Advice, through Kit Insurance and Harley Street hearing and earplug consultations


Don’t forget, for anyone working on films out there, any production which started filming after 2nd April 2018 and has a budget of £30m+ should be covered by the existing agreement.

If you think your contract should match those conditions but doesn’t, then please get in touch with BECTU or the post production and facilities branch for help.


image11.jpeg
 
 
Mike Prestwood Smith: Re-Recording Mixer

Working both in the US and in the UK I’m lucky enough to see the industry on a global level. We have absolutely amazing world class talent in the U.K. but no unified and agreed terms to operate within. I believe that a clear set of working conditions irregardless of rate should be welcomed by employees and employers alike and in so doing create a fair, responsible and globally competitive industry for everyone. Join our brand new BECTU Post Sound section within the Post Production & Facilities Branch and help us make it happen
Becki Ponting: Supervising Sound Editor

We have a wealth of talented post-production sound professionals working in the UK, and I welcome the opportunity to be part of a group who can negotiate and establish a fair set of terms and conditions for our industry.
Hopefully, this can ensure that employers and editors begin a job knowing exactly what those conditions are and we can help to create a workplace that suits both the employee and the employer.
I believe we can do this more effectively as a group, especially with the support of BECTU behind us.
James Boyle: Supervising Sound Editor

The UK post production sound industry could greatly benefit it’s members and employers by having a better regulation and understanding of the terms, conditions and contracts that we work to.
I believe this is something that very few of us would argue not to be the case and just one of many things that could improve the work we do and the way we do it.
Having a Post Sound section of BECTU within the Post Production & Facilities Branch will help us all to work together and give us the professional advice and support to achieve these goals.
Nina Hartstone: Supervising Dialogue & ADR Editor

Sound people assemble! BECTU has a new Post Sound section within the Post Production & Facilities Branch with the goal of creating a standard set of working conditions, but we need your support. We all work tirelessly in the industry we love, but it will be hugely beneficial to crew and employers alike to have established, fair terms of employment. A reasonable work-life balance can be achieved! Join BECTU’S Sound Post section within the Post Production & Facilities Branch and look forward to a better future in our industry.
Simon Chase: Supervising Dialogue & ADR Editor

Most sound editors love their work, myself included. And we always feel lucky when approached for our services in what can be a competitive field. But this good fortune doesn’t mean we should be willing to sacrifice a reasonable work life balance without good reason. Late nights and weekend work is sometimes inevitable, but if there’s no incentive for employers to avoid them they can become the norm. Agreeing together what’s fair should benefit everyone.
Tim Hands: Supervising Dialogue & ADR Editor

Although I have been a member of the Union since the start of my career I don’t think there has ever been a more important time for people in Post Sound to join up. As freelance workers we have always been somewhat isolated, but we have become yet more isolated with the drive to work from home. Unions have shown that a collective voice is by far the best way of negotiating overall terms and conditions, and knowing that your fellow workers are all with you is a huge benefit and source of comfort.
The union also offers legal advice and help with disputes as well as many other services including discounted purchasing power, but, remember the Union is you, it’s not an employer, and it can only act on your behalf if you join and tell it what you want.
Together our voice is stronger
Steve Browell: Sound FX Editor

I’ve been a member of BECTU for a number of years and it’s great to see the recent rise in interest of the new sound branch. I feel that BECTU is the right vehicle for our community to gain a collective voice. As a freelancer it can often feel quite lonely and daunting out there. In BECTU there is an infrastructure and support network that will widen our exposure, increase the value of our skills and stand up for our rights. The more we, as a collective, support this initiative, the more BECTU can tailor services that are specific to us and lobby for our needs. There’s a real positive drive behind the sound post branch at the moment and I highly recommend that people join and become a part of this rich and diverse community.

On the 31st of July a meeting for Post Production Sound workers convened at a Sound Social event at Jigsaw in Golden Square. Attendance was high with around eighty men and women from a variety of disciplines, both freelance and facility employees, within Post Production.

Paul Evans from BECTU gave a presentation explaining the existing PACT agreements to show what current regulations exist and what other areas of film production have negotiated with the help of the Union. 

The groundswell of feeling was for change in the nature of our employment terms and conditions, but it was apparent we have to form a more cohesive community within the Post Sound world and that a united front is paramount to enable change.

Following the meeting a significant number of attendees signed up to the Union joining the already existing members. For the first time in many years there is a genuine opportunity for clarity and unity.

Post Sound Meeting
Paul Evans with Post Sound

Have a listen to the podcast recorded below of the meeting

Photos by Ben Chick