BECTU motions to TUC Congress

BECTU has submitted two motions for debate at this year’s TUC Congress in September.

The proposals, on public service broadcasting and on the protection of the nation’s film heritage, are set to be debated on the first afternoon of the four-day event which takes place in Brighton from 8-11 September.

The TUC published the draft agenda for the 140th Congress this week.

A total of 87 motions have been submitted on topics which address both domestic and world-wide concerns ranging from asylum seekers and employment, improvements in maternity pay, a fair tax system, better pay for public sector workers, the global economy and international solidarity.

BECTU’s delegation will be led by Assistant General Secretary, Luke Crawley and BECTU’s President, Tony Lennon.

The text of BECTU’s motions:

Review of public service broadcasting

Congress notes that the six-year BBC licence fee settlement introduced in 2007 broke the longstanding link between the licence fee and inflation and has already resulted in significant budget reductions and job losses at the Corporation. Congress further notes that commercial public service broadcasting (PSB) - especially ITV and Channel 4 - faces a growing funding crisis in the face of increasing competition from non-PSB digital channels and that there are growing calls for this to be resolved by top-slicing or redistributing the BBC licence fee to commercial broadcasters.

Congress believes that the current PSB review being conducted by Ofcom and the subsequent policy debate in Government and Parliament provide a platform for significant changes in broadcasting policy.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to defend public service broadcasting in the UK by campaigning vigorously:

  1. for a review of BBC licence fee settlement with a view to achieving a necessary increase in BBC funding
  2. against any proposal to top-slice the BBC licence fee and redistribute licence fee funding to commercial broadcasters
  3. and for much-needed alternative funding measures for commercial PSB such as a levy on non-PSB broadcasters, gifted spectrum and revenue from extra advertising minutage

Protecting the nation’s film heritage

Congress notes that the nation’s film heritage is held in a range of British film archives which preserve and restore filmed material from throughout the audiovisual history of the UK and without which such material would be lost or decay beyond recovery.

Congress is concerned at the lack of long term and consistent public funding for our film archives - including not only the specialist buildings and equipment but also the skilled labour force engaged in archiving and film preservation. Congress believes that funding is too often dependent on private philanthropic sources or on uncertain lottery awards, and furthermore that commercial archives may be financially induced to sell-off parts of their collections.

Congress therefore calls on the General Council to campaign for significant and designated long-term public funding for our film archives as part of a strategy for protecting, preserving and making available our unique film heritage for the benefit of future generations.

Tuesday 29 July 2008