Find details here of BECTU's latest campaigns and projects. Use the information here to take part.
- BBC Love It Or Lose It
The campaign, backed by all members of the Federation of Entertainment Unions (BECTU is one member of the group), wants a well resourced BBC funded from the licence fee.
The Tory government is proposing that the BBC take responsibility for free licence fees for the over-75s a move which would cost the BBC £650m - 20% of its income. It's clear that this proposed cut in income threatens BBC output and in the longer term the future of the BBC itself.
We'll also publicise a date for a public campaign event soon.
(Info posted 8 Sept 2015).
- BBC Pay and Pensions
All stories relating to BECTU's work, campaigns, disputes on pay and pensions at the BBC.
- BBC Vision Fixed Term Contracts Campaign 2012
Fixed but Fair - Know your rights on fixed term contracts. If you work for the BBC on a fixed term contract it is important that you know your contractual and employment rights to avoid 'misunderstandings' along the way. Please go to this campaign news page to fill out the 2012 survey; you'll also find there the BBC's formal policy on fixed term contracts (otherwise known as a BBC Agreement) and a handy summary of what to check for. To help BECTU to get an overview of how fixed term contracts are being deployed currently in BBC Vision and to help those who may be falling between the cracks in the system, please take five minutes to fill out our 2012 survey NO LATER THAN Monday 20 August.
- Co-operative Cast and Crew
The UMF project - dubbed Co-operative Cast and Crew - and partly funded by BIS was set up to research and help develop a co-operative agency that would not charge an upfront fee, such fees being an economic barrier for most members. BECTU believes strongly that work is not something individuals should have to pay for through the charging of such fees. This research and development project was designed to help provide a modern day framework for some of the most vulnerable workers who are regularly exploited by rogue agents in the audio-visual industry. The project, run over two years from 2012-2011, has contributed to the effectiveness of BECTU, strengthening our understanding of the co-operative model, an innovative approach in the struggle to protect the employments rights of freelancers. These pages (see Resources tab in particular) include the following information: 1. The final project evaluation report covering the learning, recommendations and actions of the project. 2. A report by BECTU and Co-operatives UK into the two year project which looked at the suitability and prospects for using the co-operative model to support freelances in the entertainment sector. 3. Guidance produced by Co-operatives UK on sources of support, finance, what is a co-op, legal structures and the merits of co-ops. 4. Co-operative Cast and Crew project report published December 2010; covers the work undertaken by BECTU and Co-operatives UK during 2010 to examine the prospects for the adoption of the co-operative model by groups of entertainment sector freelances. 5. What is a co-operative? Find out more by reading the document prepared by Co-operatives UK as part of its collaboration with BECTU on its UMF3 project: Co-operative Cast and Crew.
- Delivering Quality First
On 6 October 2011, the BBC announced its strategy for dealing with the 16% loss in income created by the agreement with government to freeze the licence fee until 2017. Two thousand job losses were announced coupled with cuts to staff terms and conditions and cuts to a range of output under the banner Delivering Quality First. BECTU believes that unchanged the proposals will destroy quality at the BBC rather than deliver it. The union is campaigning to persuade the BBC to re-think its plans. These pages link together the latest campaign stories, information and resources.
- End BBC Contractors Poverty Pay
Campaign in support of BBC contractor staff launching November 2012. Please sign our petition here: www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/end-poverty-pay-for-contractor-workers-at-the-bbc Many of the staff who make the BBC work are paid poverty wages, significantly below the London Living Wage of £8.55* an hour. Catering staff who run the kitchens and cafeterias, porters who make sure that operations run smoothly and cleaners who look after office and production spaces are often paid little over the National Minimum Wage. These workers are not BBC employees, but are contracted out to multinational companies such as Johnson Controls International and Aramark, which turn huge profits by squeezing workplaces conditions to little over the minimum allowed by law. Workers are often not paid night shift premiums for doing long, anti social hours of tough, physical labour. Workers report that cutbacks mean they are often taking on ever heavier workloads. The BBC has promised to ensure that salaries for contract workers will be increased when the contracts are renewed, but this is too late for staff who sometimes find it impossible to make ends meet. BECTU, the media and entertainment union representing staff at the BBC, is calling on the BBC to ensure that Aramark and JCI treat their workers with dignity and pay them at least the London Living Wage. An estimated one-in-five workers across the UK are earning below the Living Wage. *The UK Living Wage - £7.20 as at November 2012; £8.55 in London - is an hourly rate of pay set independently and updated annually. It is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, and employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.
- Organising VFX
BECTU is the union for staff working in the Visual Effects (VFX) industry ...... What’s the problem in VFX?
VFX studios are being put under a financial squeeze by production companies. Instead of competing on the quality of work that they can produce, many are participating in a destructive race to rock bottom, paying fewer artists less to do more work in a shorter space of time. Whereas well unionised parts of the film industry are treated with respect by film studios, VFX artists are being hit hard. Talented VFX professionals who make beautiful art are being chased from the industry by bad employment practice, damaging the sector and the UK’s ability to remain internationally competitive.
What is BECTU? BECTU is the UK’s media and entertainment union. We represent staff and freelances in all sectors in the creative media and arts, in all non-performance roles, including heads of department and team members, across film & tv production, broadcast, theatre and cinema exhibition. It’s our job to support you in the workplace.
Here’s a few of the services members, includng in VFX, benefit from:
- Higher pay & better conditions
BECTU negotiates with employers for higher pay and better terms and conditions. It can often be difficult to negotiate on your own. Our experienced negotiators can help get you the best outcomes from your employer on salaries, holiday pay, redundancy terms and more.
- Protection at work
Join BECTU and we’ll provide you with representation and legal advice when difficulties arise at work. Whether you feel that you’ve been unfairly denied a promotion or your employer is taking disciplinary action against you, BECTU has trained officials and lawyers on hand to help.
- An end to pay discrimination
BECTU always negotiates to get women’s pay in line with men’s pay. Workplaces where BECTU is recognised are 20 per cent more likely to have equal opportunities policies.
- Help with contracts and liaising with employers
VFX professionals are experts at making beautiful and inspiring art but aren’t usually experts in employment law. We can help look over your contracts with new employers and make sure they’re all above board and assist in negotiating any changes.
- Training and development
BECTU provides courses to help you learn new skills, improve existing ones and develop your career. BECTU negotiates agreements with employers to pay for training and to secure time off to attend.
- Join us and join in
BECTU can only provide representation to its members. To join download and return the application form here: http://www.bectu.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/VFX/resources or call 0207 346 0900.
Follow BECTU's support for VFX workers on twitter @vfxunionuk
If you have any questions, or want to get in touch about a workplace issue, contact Gus Baker, organising official. Mobile 07967 584711.
- Protecting Copyright
- BECTU is part of the industry coalition which is campaigning for greater protections for creative rights against illegal downloads. The union also works with the Industry Trust on this issue.
- Say No To Exploitation In TV
The results of our 2014 survey into working conditions in factual TV are now out. Find the initial report (more to come) behind the News tab.
In 2013, close to 350 people took part in the union's first survey. Strong and consistent themes emerged which underline the importance of the Say No to Exploitation in TV campaign.
If you want to share your experience please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org You'll also find a space to comment in the Blog area. We are continuing to appeal to sector employers to examine their working practices and to make positive changes; we'll also be approaching the commissioners as we recognise that their influence over budgets and their 'hands-off' approach to the way independents make their programmes is very much part of the problem. We welcome your input and invite you not only to back the campaign but to join BECTU. Follow us on twitter @nototvabuse
- Sound Values, Value Sound
Sound Values, Value Sound was launched officially on in November 2013.
The campaign plan, now rolling out in 2015, centres on the following aims:
- Firm up BECTU's rate card to produce a more comprehensive version covering a wide range of sectors and work-grades. Rates will be based upon BECTU's Sound Rate Register research which is underway.
- Establish an authoritative guide to rates charged for the supply of equipment by sound professionals.
- Promote an understanding of the value of sound professionalism and raise the industry's appreciation of our craft.
- Ensure that members know how to negotiate reasonable rates of pay.
- Promote a better understanding of legislation around working time and pay to ensure that members are paid for all hours worked (including 'prep & wrap', travelling, reconnaissance, etc).
- Improve members' understanding of engagement contracts to ensure that fair terms are agreed - and (very importantly) that members get paid on time.
Find out more via the pages here. Follow the campaign and connect with fellow sound professionals on facebook at http://tinyurl.com/soundiefacebook
We are also on twitter @BECTUsound