TUC applauds BECTU motions

On the first day of the TUC’s annual conference, delegates have delivered overwhelming support for BECTU’s two motions.

The first motion to be debated, which called for the TUC’s support for public service broadcasting (PSB), was proposed by BECTU’s Assistant General Secretary, Luke Crawley.

“Little has happened to deliver a coordinated approach to preserving the nation's film heritage”

Luke Crawley asked delegates to consider what kind of TV and radio they wanted. He urged delegates to support the proposition if they valued broadcasting which speaks about the peoples of the UK, our country and our culture.

Luke went on to warn against the effects of further reducing the BBC’s income by top-slicing and railed against the anti-democratic nature of ITV’s current proposals for regional news.

Describing ITV’s proposals for a radical redrawing of the regional map linked to cuts of £40 million, as “cock-eyed”, Luke Crawley went on to speak of a “collapse in equality of coverage” if ITV succeeds with its proposals.

BECTU’s motion, which called for the active support of the TUC’s General Council for the joint union campaign to save PSB, was ably supported by leading representatives of the NUJ, Equity and the Musicians’ Union.

Whilst BECTU’s PSB motion looked to safeguard the future for quality and distinctive broadcasting, BECTU’s second motion, focussed on the pressing need to preserve the UK’s film heritage.

Jack Amos, a long-established film researcher and member of BECTU’s NEC, encouraged delegates to see the proposal not as a “motion by a small union about nostalgia but as one which concerns all unions dealing as it does with your history and your background”.

Jack Amos reflected on his delivery of a similar speech 30 years ago on behalf of BECTU’s predecessor union, the ACTT. He regretted that whilst that motion had drawn support, little had happened to deliver a coordinated approach to preserving the nation’s film heritage.

Such protection, he said, would only be delivered with adequate and consistent funding to support appropriate premises and to train staff in specialist archive skills.

Thanks are due from BECTU to Equity and to Prospect for their well-argued support for this second motion.

Monday 8 September 2008