the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

Posted by Sharon Elliott on 10 May 2013

Dear Friends

I’m writing to update you on some of the work that BECTU has been doing in VFX and to let you know what the next steps you can take are. Over the next few weeks and months we’ll be doing everything we can to support members already in difficulty at work and to organise to make sure that conditions are made better.

Screen shot from the Newsbeat website

1. Cinesite

BECTU is actively involved in representing staff at Cinesite during difficulties the company is facing. We are negotiating with management, including the managing director, and doing everything we can to get members at risk of redundancy the best and fairest treatment possible. If you are a member of staff at Cinesite and you would like to get in touch regarding any problems at work, please do so.

 2. VFX and employment rights

We've agreed to produce a flyer to support the campaign setting out key employment rights and covering issues such as overtime, contract cancellation and redundancy. We’ll be tackling this next week and we will be leafleting outside VFX offices in Soho in June.

3. BBC Coverage

There is excellent coverage from the BBC and Radio 1’s Newsbeat of our campaign for fairer working conditions in VFX. An interview is due for broadcast today; if you miss it catch up on BBC iplayer.

 4.VFX Survey

We’ve now completed our VFX Survey. The results will surprise no-one but will be extremely helpful in future negotiations with studios. Thanks to all who took part. The headlines are:

  • 77% of VFX workers work more than 40 hours per week;
  • 77% of people know someone who has recently left the industry because they couldn’t keep up with the workloads, overtime and poor working conditions;
  • 81% of people have felt pressured or bullied into working overtime for free on films;
  • 83% of people said it was difficult or very difficult to raise a family while working in VFX.

5. Organising in your workplace

Our membership in VFX is growing which will soon allow us to start recognition campaigns to persuade the VFX companies to negotiate with BECTU on pay and other terms and conditions. We need your help to increase our membership density even more, so please encourage your colleagues to join. (Special VFX application form here). We also need to build on our understanding of how many people (staff & freelances) are employed where.  If you'd like to be one of our organising contacts, please email gbaker@bectu.org.uk We'll treat all replies in confidence.

6. Summer meet up

BECTU will be hosting a summer VFX meet up/party. We’d like to book the venue next week so if you've got a great suggestion, drop a line to Gus. 

Best wishes, BECTU.

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