Proposals debated at Conference 2008

All decisions on proposed Rule changes and propositions (motions) considered by the BECTU Annual Conference at Liverpool on 9-10 May 2008.

Decisions of Conference are flagged by the use of six descriptions:

  • CARRIED - proposal supported by Conference.
  • LOST - proposal rejected by Conference.
  • REMITTED - proposal handed to NEC without any decision by Conference.
  • PASSED OVER - proposal not debated or no vote taken.
  • WITHDRAWN - proposal removed by those who submitted the motion and therefore not considered by Conference.
  • INCORPORATED - amendment incorporated into proposal by agreement of movers of proposal.

Proposed Rule changes debated at Conference

AR1 Rule 5(l)

Add at end of clause: "by all means considered appropriate by the National Executive Committee and to include the standards of conduct as set out in rule 24(f);"


add new rule 24(f) as follows, and re-letter existing clause (f) as clause (g): "Any person who is or becomes a member of an organisation which the National Executive Committee considers to be a fascist or racist organisation or who supports or circulates material or speaks on behalf of any organisation concerned with disseminating racist beliefs, attitudes or ideas or who undertakes actions against others (whether members or non-members) designed to discriminate on the grounds of sex, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, colour, class, caring responsibilities, marital status, sexuality, disability, age or other status or personal characteristic, shall be subject to the disciplinary procedures under these rules and may be expelled from the union."

Central London Programmes


AR2 Rule 29(a)

Add at end of clause:

"It shall also be competent for the branch committee, where the branch by-laws expressly permit, to use other means of consultation and communication, such as e-mail or post, to expedite rule 29(b) or to obtain consent by branch members to the re-election of the existing committee. Due regard must be given in such event to existing branch by-laws, to including at least as many members as would otherwise have been advised of the AGM, to avoiding the exclusion of any member from nomination and election to office, and to ensuring that the medium used is at least as secure as that which would prevail at an AGM."

BBC Cardiff


AR3 Rule 33(b)

In rule 33(b) delete "(iv) Laboratories" and re-number "London Production" and "Regional Production" accordingly;


in rule 31(a) delete "Laboratories (including non-broadcast audio-visual duplication),";

delete existing rule 31(j), and re-letter the subsequent clauses (k), (l) and (ll) accordingly;

re-letter existing rule 31(ll) as clause (l) and amend to read:

"There shall be a Film Artistes' subdivision and branch, and a Laboratories subdivision and branch, within the London Production division. Former members of the Film Artistes' Association and members organised in laboratories, audio-visual manufacturing and non-broadcast video/audio duplication shall be members of the respective subdivision and branch. The National Executive Committee shall, in consultation with the relevant divisions and subdivisions, make appropriate arrangements for the organisation and representation of background artistes and laboratory workers based outside the London and South East area.";

in rule 39 delete "Laboratories,"

National Executive Committee


AR4 Rule 31(d)

Insert new rule 31(d) as follows, and re-letter existing clauses (d) to (o) accordingly:

"A paid-up member shall be entitled to request sight of the minutes of the meeting of any divisional, subdivisional, branch or area committee, provided

  1. the minutes have been adopted by the committee concerned;
  2. the request gives reasonable notice, is made in writing to an authorised paid official, and clearly specifies the meeting concerned; and
  3. there is no objection from any other member named in or identifiable from the minutes.

Where the request is granted the member may view the minutes in the presence of an authorised paid official. These provisions do not apply to minutes (if any) of the Disciplinary or Appeals Committee of the union, when application must be made to the General Secretary who shall allow or refuse it at his/her sole discretion. The right of inspection of any minutes is at all times subject to the duty of confidentiality and the Data Protection Principles."

Film Artistes


AR5 Rule 40

Rule 40 [title]

Delete "Annual" and insert "Biennial"

Rule 40(a)

Delete "1993" and insert "2009", and delete "annual" and insert "biennial"

Rule 40(c)

In first sentence delete "annual" and insert "biennial", and in third sentence delete "annual"

Rule 40(d)

In first sentence delete "annual"

Delete second sentence and insert: "Commencing with 2009, conference shall be convened biennially in April, May or June."

Rule 40(h)

Delete "annual"

Consequentially, in rule 3(a), (c) and (d), rule 9(a)(i) and (e), rule 19, rule 20, rule 26(a), rule 27(f), rule 31(b), (e) and (m), rule 32(a), rule 33(a), (l), (o) and (v), rule 38(h), 41(a), (b) and (d), rule 42(a), (b), (d) and (e), rule 42(f)(i), (i)(ii) and (j)(i), rule 45(b), and Appendix D by-laws 8(a) and 9:

delete "annual" or "annually" and insert "biennial" or "biennially", as the case may be, in each instance relating to conference

Further, in rule 33(m)

delete "to annual conference" and add at end "which shall be published annually to branches and, in respect of both of the preceding years, in the National Executive Committee's report to the biennial conference."

Likewise, in rule 34(c)

delete "to branches not less than fourteen days prior to annual conference meetings" and insert "annually to branches and, in respect of both of the preceding years, in the National Executive Committee's report to the biennial conference"

and in rule 42(f)(i)

add at end "for each of the years since the previous conference."

Furthermore, in rule 45(a)

delete "at intervals of three years commencing with 1993" and insert "every four years commencing with 2009"

North Wales Freelance


Formal motions on the BECTU Conference agenda

Proposition 1/08 Venue for conference (AP1)

That this annual conference recognises that BECTU has many members across the nations of the UK but has not held conference outside England for well over a decade despite previous propositions urging the NEC to consider such locations. This conference instructs the NEC to give more serious consideration to a cost-effective venue outside England for the next conference whose location is yet to be settled.

BBC Cardiff


Proposition 2/08 Information (AP2)

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to make minutes of its meetings available to BECTU members online.

Post Production & Facilities


Emergency proposition 1/08 Labour party

That this annual conference, in the light of the recent local elections and the Labour Party's uncertain fate in the next general election, and considering the Labour Party's leadership's move to the right over the last dozen years, call for a ballot of all BECTU members to decide whether to:
  1. seek greater involvement in the Labour Party, in collaboration with other trade unions, with the aim of restoring the Labour Party founding role as a voice for workers and their trade unions in parliament;
  2. maintain our current affiliation to the Labour Party without additional involvement;
  3. withdraw our support for and affiliation to the Labour Party, and use the funds released to actively seek representation elsewhere.

Post Production & Facilities


Proposition 3/08 Political Fund (AP3)

That this annual conference believes that the Political Fund could be better used as a tool for furthering BECTU's aims in parliament and elsewhere. It instructs the NEC to discuss with the divisions details of Political Fund activities over the past five years, whether there is scope to increase or broaden these, and whether an increase in members' Political Fund contributions is indicated.

Post Production & Facilities


Proposition 4/08 Members working on party political and party election broadcasts (AP4)

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to draw up a clear set of guidelines which fully explain the actions which members should take when facing ethical decisions while working on party political and party election broadcasts. The guidelines should clearly state what actions members can and cannot take and what support BECTU will and will not give. These guidelines will be published on the BECTU website and in the journal as well as other appropriate places at times when such advice is likely to be needed. These guidelines should be pan-BECTU and will replace the less formal and less thorough ad hoc advice generally given during past elections.

BBC Cardiff


Proposition 5/08 Participatory democracy (AP5)

That this annual conference notes that secure member access to the BECTU website has the potential to free parts of the democratic process from scheduled meetings, increase overall activity and allow participation over time from home or workplace. This conference believes this approach would encourage greater participation by membership and strengthen the union and instructs the NEC to assess the feasibility of setting up the facilities to do this and report back to all divisions.

Post Production & Facilities


Proposition 6/08 Representation of overseas members (AP6)

That this annual conference notes that there are lots of people working overseas for British media companies on lower wages and worse conditions than colleagues in the UK. Many would like to join BECTU but are not encouraged to do so because the union can't offer them any services.

Conference instructs the NEC to investigate the possibility of setting up a new membership category that can provide some benefits to overseas members.



Proposition 7/08 Unpaid hours (AP7)

That this annual conference deplores the increasing incidence of production companies expecting everything to be ready when they turn up, and refusing to pay for prep and wrap hours outwith the production times, sometimes leading to erosion of actual breaks between duties and infringements of the Working Time Directive.

This conference calls on the NEC to take vigorous action to eliminate these abuses of the dedication of members to their jobs, and to ensure proper recognition of the need for adequate prep, wrap - and, where applicable, travel time - to be included in paid hours.

Scottish Freelance


Proposition 8/08 European model contracts (AP8)

That this annual conference supports the initiative of IMAGO [the European Federation of Cinematographers] to develop pan-European model contracts.



Proposition 9/08 Funding of public service broadcasting (AP9)

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to lobby the new Culture Secretary [and] BECTU's MP and MEPs group to ensure cable, satellite and digital channels and suppliers help fund public service broadcasting.

This would be aimed at ensuring all organisations that benefit commercially from licences to broadcast on digital, cable or satellite in the UK help fund terrestrial public service broadcasting and to stop existing public funding being redirected to fill this gap.

Writers Producers Directors


Proposition 10/08 Union-wide broadcasting policy (AP10)

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to produce plans for an inter-divisional committee to coordinate union-wide broadcasting policy, in consultation with affected divisions in time for consideration at the next annual conference.

Writers Producers Directors


Proposition 11/08 Commission for Labour Rights (AP11)

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to lobby the Government, through the TUC and its MPs group to set up a Commission for Labour Rights.

This would proactively check that rights of employed and self-employed workers are respected and promote and enforce company transparency on profitability towards its employed and self-employed workers. This could also extend towards smaller sub-contractors to avoid a squeeze on pay, conditions, transparency and health and safety, where appropriate.

The commission could also promote, support and enforce measures to ensure workforce representation in companies without recognised trade unions, on pay, conditions and health and safety - to proactively promote as level a playing field of best-practice work conditions as possible and warn on measures which may lead to severe job losses or production moving abroad.

Writers Producers Directors


Proposition 12/08 Hands Off Venezuela (AP12)

That this annual conference agrees to affiliate [BECTU] to the Hands Off Venezuela Campaign.

Writers Producers Directors


Proposition 13/08 Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (AP13)

That this annual conference recognises that following devolution responsibility for education, economic development and other devolved issues in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland now reside[s] with the Welsh Assembly Government, the Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Government respectively. Conference calls on BECTU to ensure that formal responses to consultations on issues that affect the working lives and career development opportunities of BECTU members across all four countries within the UK are properly addressed, and that sufficient time and resources are available to respond effectively to important policy documents.

South Wales Freelance


Proposition 14/08 Freelance fairs (AP14)

That this annual conference recognises and applauds the success of BECTU's freelance fairs held in London, Bristol and Manchester. Conference proposes that BECTU provides the necessary financial and human resources required to deliver an equally successful freelance fair to be held in Cardiff during 2008/9.

South Wales Freelance



Add at end: 'We would also seek to see a freelance fair held annually in the North West in response to the development of Mediacity.'

North West Freelance


Proposition 15/08 Break the link with Labour, overturn the anti-union laws (AP15)

That this annual conference resolves:

  1. To withdraw all funding from the Labour party and cease this union's political affiliation with immediate effect;
  2. To use all means at the union's disposal to fight against further attacks on pay, pensions etc, even if to be effective means to defy the anti-union laws;
  3. To coordinate with other unions to build a mass campaign to defy the anti-union laws and protect the pay and conditions of all workers in Britain.

Radio & Music Production


Proposition 16/08 Arts and theatre funding (AP16)

That this annual conference calls on the NEC to make representation to the Arts Council of England to ensure they have a clear and transparent arts and theatre funding policy.



Proposition 17/08 Long service (AP17)

That this annual conference considers that any member having served a period of 50 (fifty) years membership should receive a certificate in recognition of his/her service presented by the President.

Film Artistes


Last updated 14 May 2008