the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

BECTU is the UK's media and entertainment trade union; sectors covered include broadcasting, cinema, film, digital media, independent production, leisure, theatre and the arts.

Overhead shot of conference delegates 2010Conference delegates in Bournemouth 2010.  Pic: Mark Dimmock


The union represents staff, contract and freelance workers who are based primarily in the United Kingdom.





BECTU provides a wide range of services to its circa 25,000 members, including:

  • Negotiating pay, conditions and contracts with employers
  • Personal advice and representation for individual members
  • Advice and representation on health and safety
  • Benefits and services for BECTU members
  • Training support and courses
  • Networking events and career development opportunities
  • Union journal, Stage Screen and Radio, published six times a year.
  • Website designed to improve access to the union's advice and support.

Woman exhibitor and visitor talk at freelancers fair 2008The union's annual Freelancers' Fair provides training advice, seminars and workshops. Pic Rod Leon. 

Membership is voluntary, and anyone working or seeking employment in the sectors covered by BECTU can join BECTU online.

The union is financed entirely by individual subscriptions from members.

The key aims of the union are to:

- protect jobs

- increase membership

- win new recognition agreements

- improve pay and conditions of service, including pensions.

BECTU Offices

BECTU's head office is in London. Our regional offices are in Birmingham, Cardiff, Salford Quays and Glasgow.

Union democracy

BECTU is a democratic organisation run by representatives elected amongst its membership. Members are grouped into local branches which send representatives to the policy-making annual conference.

Branches themselves are grouped into five Divisions.

The National Executive Committee (NEC), which is made up of members elected by secret ballot every two years, has on-going responsibility for the running of the union.

The union's Rules provide full details of BECTU's structure.

Women working together during a workshop.Workshop at BECTU's annual women's conference. Pic: Janina Struk


BECTU is committed to equality of opportunity for all people at work. The union supports policies that encourage and support cultural diversity and respect.

The union's Equality and Diversity Committee is a focal point for the union's efforts to encourage more women to participate fully in developing policies and initiatives.

The Black Members' Committee aims to increase diversity in the workplace and the union.

The Disabled Members Network provides information and support for disabled members.


BECTU's affiliations include:

BECTU was founded in 1991 after a series of mergers between separate unions during the 1980s. BECTU's history can be traced back to 1890.

Last page update 25 August 2016. Query? Contact us.