Proposed rule changes and policy propositions 2004

Listed on this page are proposed rule changes and 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 2 (2003-04) dated 30 January 2004. The closing date for such amendments is 1200 on 25 March 2004.

Proposed rule changes accepted by the SOC

SRS1 Rule 9(b)(i)

That this annual conference, in a special rules session, approves the following alteration to rule under rule 9(e):

In rule 9(b)(i) delete the line "over £30,000 £25.00 £300.00" and insert new lines as follows:
£30,001-£32,500 £25.00 £300.00
£32,501-£35,000 £27.08 £325.00
£35,001-£37,500 £29.17 £350.00
£37,501-£40,000 £31.25 £375.00
£40,001 and over £33.33 £400.00

National Executive Committee

SRS2 Rule Book Appendix C

That this annual conference, in a special rules session, approves the following alteration to rule under rule 45(b):

In Appendix C insert new standing order 27 as follows: "27 All members of the NEC are bound by collective responsibility for decisions taken by the NEC."

Re-number existing by-law 27 as by-law 28.

Consequentially, in by-law 25 delete "standing orders 1-11 and 13" and insert "standing orders 1-11, 13, and 26-28"

National Executive Committee

Enabling motion [not susceptible to amendment]

As part of its report to conference SOC will propose, at the conclusion of the business of the special rules session, the following enabling motion:
"Conference adopts and approves the rules of BECTU as altered at the special rules session of this annual conference, subject to the incorporation of such numbering, cross-referencing, grammatical and other consequential changes of text as are required to implement the alterations to rules."

Standing Orders Committee

Propositions accepted by the SOC

AP1 General Officers

That this annual conference expresses its wish for the elections of all General Officers to be by a ballot of all members of the union and not just by the NEC, the details of any such ballot to be determined by the NEC for incorporation in the rule book at the appropriate rules revision/annual conference.

Writers Producers & Directors

AP2 Venue of conference

That this annual conference recommends that the National Executive Committee consider a venue outside England for the 2006 conference. Additionally, should conference 2005 be convened in one of the Nations, priority will be given to another Nation [in 2006].


SOC note: SOC has inserted the words in square brackets for clarity.

AP3 Membership retention

That this annual conference believes we must do all we can to retain members. Conference therefore instructs the General Secretary to send a yearly round-up of BECTU's achievements to each member, with a personal message thanking them for their support.


SOC note: SOC has rejected as argument a sentence after "to retain members." as follows: "A key way to keep members on board is to make them feel that the union values their continued membership."

AP4 Information Officer

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to commission an independent feasibility study into the possibility of appointing a full-time official with the specific responsibility of collating and disseminating information relevant to or pertaining to BECTU.

The duties of such an officer would include:

  1. compiling and managing an IT database of relevant information on behalf of staff and members;
  2. forwarding said information to staff, members, press and interested parties, as appropriate;
  3. producing, ratifying and publicising a diary of key dates and events relevant to BECTU staff and members.
Writers Producers & Directors

AP5 Services for unemployed members

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to establish a proper and effective channel for long-term unemployed members to be heard as a body and to be supported in exploring possibilities for re-employment. Currently these members are finding that existing occupational branches are unable to serve them adequately as unemployed persons.

Post Production & Facilities

AP6 Retirement branch

That this annual conference instructs the National Executive [Committee] to investigate the possibility of forming a retirement branch or branches. This is on the understanding that this branch or these branches would not be a drain on union resources.

Deluxe Video Services

SOC note: SOC recommends the branch to consider compositing AP6 and AP7. SOC has inserted the word in square brackets for consistency.

AP7 Retired members' forum

That this annual conference recognises that rapid advances have been made in the fields of medical-human and technological resources resulting in extended life expectancy. Conference is further aware that there are no facilities available within BECTU for the increase in retired members of the union. Conference urges the NEC to explore the possibility of creating a retired members' forum solely for persons who have reached retirement whilst being a member of the union. Retired members can be invited to attend their respective divisional committees, to observe and advise. This would also be an influence on the induction of the new members to the union.


SOC note: SOC recommends the branch to withdraw the proposition in favour of AP6, or to consider compositing AP6 and AP7.

AP8 Stage Screen & Radio

That this annual conference calls on the NEC to establish an Editorial Board for Stage Screen & Radio, to ensure editorial independence and a range and balance of members' views.

Writers Producers & Directors

SOC note: SOC recommends the branch to consider compositing AP8 and AP9.

AP9 Stage Screen & Radio

That this annual conference asserts the right of all members to write letters for publication in Stage Screen & Radio so long as their contributions are of a reasonable length and contain no obscene, racist or libellous material. It demands that the journal should have editorial independence and not be subject to censorship by the General Secretary or any other officer.

Writers Producers & Directors

SOC note: SOC recommends the branch to consider compositing AP8 and AP9.

AP10 BECTU badge

That this annual conference considers the present BECTU badge too small to show clearly. Conference believes that the badge should be enlarged so that others can see more clearly that we as members are proud to show the badge.

Kent & Sussex

AP11 Health and Safety official

That this annual conference believes that health and safety should be given a higher priority than currently appears to be the case within our union nationally. To this end, conference requests that BECTU appoint a full-time national Health and Safety official, to promote health and safety issues within the organisation and offer improved support to local health and safety representatives across the union.

Central London Programmes

AP12 Safety

That this annual conference instructs the National Executive Committee to re-examine the current Health and Safety at Work legislation, especially the role of safety officers with particular emphasis on the problems of freelance workers in the broadcasting and entertainment industry, and to provide branches with a clear summary of the most salient points so that members can use them in dealing with recalcitrant employers.

Scottish Freelance

AP13 Broadcasting in Scotland

That this annual conference request of the Scottish Parliament that it investigate and report on the contribution of the broadcasting industry to Scottish culture in the last five years, with a view to making its views on the influence of broadcasting on Scottish culture known and available to decision-makers, particularly at the UK Parliament, and that it repeat this survey at regular intervals.

Glasgow 1

AP14 Broadcasting regulation

That this annual conference, recognising that Scotland, while remaining within the UK, has its own distinctive cultural and political climate, instructs the NEC to campaign for broadcasting regulation in Scotland to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Television

AP15 BBC Technology sell-off

That this annual conference deplores the decision by the BBC to sell off BBC Technology Ltd. Conference pledges its full support to the campaign to persuade the government to stick to the policy of no privatisation adopted in 2000 during the public debate on the future of the BBC licence fee.


AP16 Film distribution

That this annual conference requests the NEC to instruct the Research Officer to prepare a report on monopolistic barriers to British films being distributed and exhibited in the UK.

Writers Producers & Directors

AP17 Feature films

That this annual conference notes with pleasure that investment in feature films made in the UK has reached record levels. The number of British films made has however decreased and conference requests the NEC to formulate detailed proposals whereby some of the vast profits made are allocated to the development, production, distribution, exhibition, promotion and marketing of indigenous films reflecting British culture, probably by way of a box-office levy.

Writers Producers & Directors

AP18 Diversity and access on television

That this annual conference notes the demise of BBC's Picture This and 10x10, and Channel 4's Short Stories, as properly funded new directors' slots. It further notes the closure of BBC's Community programmes and Disability programmes units. It instructs the NEC to make representations to all public service broadcasters seeking the preservation of diversity and access for new talent and different voices on television.

Writers Producers & Directors

AP19 Public holidays

That this annual conference notes that in England and Wales only eight bank and public holidays are generally given per year, fewer than any other EU member state and three days fewer than the EU average.

Conference calls upon the government to increase the number of public holidays by two per year and that the new public holidays reflect our multicultural society.

Conference resolves that BECTU shall put forward resolutions to this effect at the TUC and Labour Party conferences.

Salisbury Playhouse

AP20 UAF affiliation

That this annual conference notes with concern the rise in popularity of the BNP and their increasing electoral success in the past few years. It therefore welcomes the coming together of anti-racist organisations, activists and trade unions to form Unite Against Fascism (UAF). This conference believes that BECTU should continue to be at the heart of the struggle against racism and fascism and therefore instructs the NEC to affiliate BECTU to UAF.


AP21 Affiliation to the Stop the War Coalition

That this annual conference is concerned at the large numbers of civilians and troops from all sides who have lost their lives as a result of the war and ongoing occupation of Iraq.

Conference also notes the historic demonstrations organised by the Stop the War Coalition against the war itself and the visit of George W Bush to Britain. Stop the War is continuing to campaign against the occupation of Iraq, and to prevent wars in Iran, Syria and North Korea. Conference believes it is not in this country's interest to pursue such wars, and therefore instructs BECTU to affiliate to the Stop the War Coalition.


AP22 Resignation of the Prime Minister

That this annual conference[,] in view of the Prime Minister's duplicity and deceit in involving the British armed forces in an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq[,] which has resulted in the tragic loss of innocent lives and the maiming of others, [...] asks delegates from BECTU to the TUC and Labour Party conferences to argue the issue of the Prime Minister's resignation and a new trade union orientated leadership.

Film Artistes

SOC note: SOC has made the grammatical changes indicated by square brackets for clarity.

Propositions rejected by the SOC

RP1 Collective responsibility

That this annual conference asserts the right of all members to express themselves freely and independently on all matters affecting the union and totally rejects the spurious and unconstitutional use of 'collective responsibility' notions as a gag or restraint on free speech. All members should therefore be at liberty to address conference whether or not they also serve on the NEC. As the highest authority in the union, annual conference reserves the right to determine who addresses it.

Writers Producers & Directors

SOC's reason for rejection: the right to speak at conference is governed by rule, which the proposition seeks to qualify.

RP2 Member classification

That this annual conference discontinues the use of the word 'grade' with reference to members' occupations as it erroneously implies that the union makes hierarchical or qualitative distinctions between them and thus is confusing. These distinctions may be present within employing organisations but are no longer relevant to the work of this union. To this end this conference instructs the NEC to discourage use of the word 'grade' in this context, with particular reference to the rule book and other union publications.

Post Production & Facilities

SOC's reason for rejection: the intention of the proposition is obscure, but would appear to require rule changes.

RP3 Head office annual event

That this annual conference notes that the National Executive Committee were mandated in last year's proposition [6/03] to encourage ordinary members to meet at the Clapham headquarters socially throughout the year, perhaps with one large organised annual event. Conference notes that the suggested annual event has not yet taken place and urges the NEC to consider this as a matter of some urgency.


SOC's reason for rejection: existing policy at the present time. The branch is recommended to raise the matter, if necessary, in debate on the NEC's report to conference.

RP4 London weighting

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to lend its support to the wider trade union campaign to increase London weighting to at least £4000 per year for all public sector workers, and to make achieving this goal part of all future pay negotiations across all divisions within BECTU.

Central London Programmes

SOC's reason for rejection: more advantageously dealt with by remission to the appropriate Divisions.

RP5, RP6, RP7

1: Annual Conference

The Hair and Make-Up Branch requests that this Annual Conference reassess it's position on the holding annual conference outside of London and to look at what savings could be made by holding conference in London.

2: Holiday pay

The Hair and Make-Up Branch requests that this Annual Conference notes the practise used by employers of incorporating holiday pay into weekly rates, but holding this element backfor payment at the end of the contract. This effectively avoids real holiday pay obligations being met by employers. The Hair and Make-Up branch call upon this conference to highlight this issue and pressurise Government to amend the Working Time Regulations to make this practise unlawful.

3: Working schedules

The Hair and Make-Up Branch requests that this Annual Conference notes that production companies are drafting working schedules on the basis of shooting hours i.e. 12hrs. These schedules do not take into consideration grades such as Hair and Make-Up and Costume and Wardrobe and production staff, who are required to work extra hours either side of the shooting schedule, breaking not only the 11hr break, but also well in excess of the working time regulations of a maximum 48hr working week. The Hair and Make-Up branch call upon this conference to instruct our representatives to lobby employers and government in order to campaign for an end to this practise.

Studio Hair & Makeup

SOC's reason for rejection: submitted together in an unacceptable format and without evidence of authorisation.

RP8 Training

That this annual conference recognises the importance of training both union officers and lay officials to underpin the recruitment and retention strategy, and instructs the NEC to:

  1. ensure that the election of Union Learning Representatives is included in the agenda of all branch AGMs, and
  2. ensure that every branch elects at least one person to co-ordinate learning for the branch.

North Wales Freelance

SOC's reason for rejection: received out of time.

RP9 Location of conference

That this annual conference instructs the NEC to investigate the feasibility of holding conference in 2006 at the North Wales Conference Centre in Llandudno.

North Wales Freelance

SOC's reason for rejection: received out of time.

Last updated 9 February 2004