BECTU Conference 2007 proposed policy propositions

Listed on this page are proposed policy propositions submitted by Branches and the union's National Executive Committee (NEC) accepted and rejected by Conference Standing Orders Committee (SOC), along with reasons for rejection.

BECTU Branches can submit amendments to these proposals using the forms enclosed with Conference Document 3 (2006-07) dated 8 February 2007. The closing date for such amendments is 1200 on 13 March 2007.


Propositions accepted by the SOC


AP1 Workers' rights

That this annual conference

  • welcomes the new International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) unifying the previously separate ICFTU and WCL;
  • reaffirms its commitment to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, with particular reference to Article 23; and
  • congratulates the TUC on its initiative in launching the 'your company' website in August 2006.

In line with the constitution of the ITUC which pledges to struggle for 'the emancipation of working people and a world in which the dignity and rights of all human beings is assured…' and which recognises 'the urgent need to transform social, economic and political structures and relations which stand as obstacles to that vision…' and the need for 'democratic governance in the interests of labour, which it holds superior to those of capital,' and in line with the implications of the content of the TUC 'your company' website, which reveals the considerable discrepancy between the average profit created by, and average wages received by, the average UK worker.

Conference instructs the NEC to campaign nationally and internationally for universal fundamental reform of fiscal policy and of book-keeping and accountancy practice, as an inseparable part of the consolidation of the above developments into a Universal Declaration of Workers' Rights.

National Executive Committee


AP2 Recruitment initiative

That this annual conference recognises that friends and colleagues can be the most persuasive force in recruitment. The NEC should consider a scheme where existing members who sign up a colleague are suitably rewarded.

The NEC should look at appropriate and cost-effective incentives such as subscription discounts, high street vouchers, or vouchers for venues and attractions in which BECTU has members.

Bush


AP3 Conference venues

That this annual conference believes that locations beyond England should be sought as the possible venues for conference 2009 or beyond.

The projected costs for all affordable and suitable locations should be drawn up into a shortlist and communicated to members for discussion.

Timescales permitting, conference delegates should be able to express their preferred choice of venue which should be taken into consideration when the final decision is made.

Bush


AP4 Head office location

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to undertake a feasibility study into relocation of BECTU's head office to Central London.

Writers Producers Directors


AP5 BECTU membership cards

[That this annual conference] feels it is wrong to issue BECTU membership cards [valid] for five years. Along with a yearly membership card is the excellent opportunity to bring personal contact and relevant branch information to the member. A public relations exercise [is] lost with the five year card.

Film Artistes


AP6 BECTU pension scheme

That this annual conference should resolve that BECTU should no longer offer 'final salary pension' scheme to new employees, as from the end of the current financial year (2006/2007).

Film Artistes

SOC note: in accepting this proposition the SOC wishes to make it clear that it does not associate itself with it


AP7 BECTU and the environment [composited by the SOC]

That this annual conference recognises the importance that many companies and organisations are attaching to ethical environmental and energy-saving issues.

Conference instructs the NEC to undertake a 'green audit' to examine BECTU's credentials in this arena, focusing on paper usage and energy efficiency as examples, by asking members to receive mailings electronically where possible and without obligation or compulsion and for head office to recycle more and use energy less.

The NEC should monitor energy, paper and postage costs before and after the scheme and report these findings to conference 2008.

Bush
South Wales Freelance

SOC note: The original motions were as follows:

AP7A Green audit

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to undertake a 'green audit' to ensure that BECTU considers its current practices in terms of ethical and environmental issues.

South West Freelance

AP7B BECTU and the environment

That this annual conference recognises the importance that many companies and organisations are attaching to environmental and energy-saving issues.

Conference instructs the NEC to examine BECTU's credentials in this arena, focusing on paper usage and energy efficiency as examples, by asking members to receive mailings electronically where possible and without obligation or compulsion and for head office to recycle more and use energy less.

The NEC should monitor energy, paper and postage costs before and after the scheme and report these findings to conference 2008.

Bush


AP8 Funding of public service broadcasting [composited by the SOC]

That this annual conference deplores the government's decision to award the BBC a less than inflation licence settlement, noting that this undermines public service broadcasting and will have repercussions across the whole media industry.

This conference supports the BBC division's efforts to oppose any measures the BBC tries to put in place to fund the licence fee deficit from staff remuneration and conditions.

Bush
ESPG

SOC note: The original motions were as follows:

AP8A BBC licence fee

That this annual conference believes the 2006 BBC licence fee settlement is inadequate and will be damaging not only to the BBC but also to the wider media community. Moreover, the union should oppose any measures the BBC tries to put in place to fund the licence fee deficit from staff remuneration and conditions.

ESPG

AP8B Public service broadcasting funding

That this annual conference deplores the government's decision to award the BBC a less than inflation licence settlement, noting that this undermines public service broadcasting and will have repercussions across the whole media industry.

This conference supports the BBC division's efforts to highlight and campaign against this unsatisfactory situation.

Bush


AP9 BBC Resources sell-off

That this annual conference restates its opposition to the proposed BBC Resources sell-off, which is illogical both in public service and business terms, and will implement all appropriate action to oppose such a sell-off.

ESPG


AP10 Offshoring public services

That this annual conference deplores the BBC's decision to award the contract for outsourced finance and accounting services to the Xansa/Siemens consortium, resulting in two thirds of the existing UK based jobs being moved overseas, despite a cheaper bid being available that would have kept the majority of jobs in the UK under the current provider.

This conference notes that the BBC misled the parliamentary committee of public accounts when questioned over the details of the tendering process for this contract.

This conference instructs the NEC to lobby the government to enforce stricter controls and greater accountability and transparency on public funded organisations awarding contracts which result in UK jobs being moved overseas. These controls should remain in place throughout the life of the contract and should include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. require the organisation to justify why the work could not reasonably be performed in the UK
  2. require the organisation to provide an independent detailed social and economic analysis of the direct and indirect impact in the UK
  3. guarantee overseas workers have comparable rights to those in the UK whilst working on any contract.

MEDAS London


AP11 Radio frequency auction

That this annual conference calls on the NEC to make the strongest representations to the government against the proposed auction of the radio frequencies currently being used for programme making and special events. The loss of these frequencies, or a substantial increase in the licence fees for them, will have serious consequences for our members in broadcast, theatre, AV, and film production who work with radio microphones, in-ear monitoring systems, and radio talkback.

Scottish Freelance


AP12 Broadcasting policy

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to form a Broadcasting Policy Committee, from members of the BBC, Independent Broadcasting, London and Regional Production divisions, with the right to observers from other divisions, answerable to the NEC. It would meet to discuss broadcasting policy, make recommendations, and consider issues for the NEC to decide on.

Writers Producers Directors


AP13 Production bonds [composited by the SOC]

That this annual conference calls on the NEC to require a bonding system for all independent feature productions at the production company's expense. The minimum requirement should be that two weeks crew wages will be in the bond, which would be released in the event of the crew not being paid. Production should not commence unless a bond is in place. The release should be on the signature of the General Secretary or Assistant General Secretary of BECTU.

Scottish Freelance
Film Artistes

SOC note: The original motions were as follows:

AP13A Production bonds

That this annual conference calls on the NEC to set up a bonding system for all independent feature productions at the production company's expense. The minimum requirement should be that two weeks crew wages will be in the bond, which would be released in the event of the crew not being paid. Production should not commence unless a bond is in place. The release should be on the signature of the General Secretary or Assistant General Secretary of BECTU.

Scottish Freelance

AP13B Bonding

That this annual conference should resolve that 'all' UK and foreign production companies must be - 'bonded'.

Film Artistes


AP14 Payment on time

That this annual conference [calls on the NEC] to lobby the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, though all possible avenues including the TUC and Equity, to amend current employment law in order to stop employers delaying payments, by setting a time limit within which a worker/performer that works under a temporary contract of employment must be paid, supported by a regime of statutory fines and possibly interest charges on delinquent employers.

Film Artistes


AP15 Payment on time

That this annual conference [calls on the NEC] to lobby the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, though all possible avenues including the TUC and Equity, to amend current Employment Agency Standards (EAS) regulations in order to give the worker/performer the choice of being paid within ten days by an employment agency/work-seeking service, instead of having to agree a longer term of payment.

Film Artistes

SOC note: AP14 and AP15 have been accepted as alternatives. If one is carried the other falls.


AP16 Health and safety hotline

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to discuss with the TUC General [Council] the feasibility of establishing a 24-hour hotline to provide health and safety advice to all union members.

The health and safety office provide a limited advice service, being only available Monday to Friday, nine to five, which does not take into account the unsociable hours worked in this industry and many other industries. Also the advice given by the H&S outside these hours is to contact the local police, who may not be competent or willing to give advice on a health and safety matter.

Scottish Freelance

SOC note: AP16 has been accepted with reservations. In particular the SOC urges that amendments be proposed which will clarify the references to the 'health and safety office' and 'the H&S'


AP17 Political affiliation

That this annual conference [resolves] that due to the financial condition of BECTU and to assuage any risk to staffing, the union ceases its affiliation to the New Labour Party or to any political party until its finances are in better shape at some time in the future, if BECTU members so wish.

Film Artistes


AP18 Labour Party conference

That this annual conference, in view of the complete disdain that the current Labour government pays to democratic decisions taken at annual conferences of the Labour Party, [is] of the opinion that BECTU accepts that sending delegates to this yearly pantomime is a mere waste of time but more importantly our members' money.

Film Artistes


AP19 Labour leadership

That this annual conference urges the NEC to encourage candidates who are sympathetic to the aims of the trade union movement to stand for election in the forthcoming Labour leadership contest.

Bush


AP20 British National Party

That this annual conference was appalled to hear of the case of Simone Clarke, the BNP advocate and Equity representative employed by English National Ballet. Conference states that any known member of the BNP or any other racist or fascist organisation is expelled from the union by the NEC as under rule 13, for negation of the union's objectives as under rule 5(l).

Salisbury Playhouse

SOC note: AP20 has been accepted with reservations. In particular the SOC urges that amendments be proposed which will clarify the syntax.


Propositions rejected by the SOC


RP1 Members' services

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to look at making the video editing facilities in the head office training room available to members who have taken a course or otherwise been sufficiently trained in the appropriate software - currently Final Cut Pro - either free or a minimum cost. This would include technical support and digitising facilities, subject to the recommendations of the training staff on their practicality and availability.

Writers Producers Directors

SOC's reason for rejection: obscure and not addressed to conference

RP2 National Officials' achievements

That this annual conference recognises the hard work carried out by the National Officials which may not always be appreciated by ordinary members.

To address this, all the National Officials should be encouraged to write short columns in Stage Screen & Radio outlining some of their work and achievements.

Bush

SOC's reason for rejection: existing policy.


RP3 Avoided agreements

In 2006 the Houdini film Death Defying Acts (Zephyr Films) was funded by the BBC and the Film Commission. The production company were not PACT members and totally ignored the FAA/BECTU/PACT agreement. This insult to the BBC, the Film Commission and our industry must not happen again.

Film Artistes

SOC's reason for rejection: not addressed to conference.


RP4 Leadership of the Labour Party

That this annual conference agree that BECTU ballot the membership over who to support in the Labour Party leadership/deputy leadership election.

BBC Radio & Music Production

SOC's reason for rejection: received out of time


Last updated 9 February 2007