News archives 2008

News headlines in chronological order

January 2008 to December 2008

December 2008

Attempts to avoid a full-blown dispute on BBC Scotland’s River City will resume in January.

BECTU is jointly hosting Meet the Radio Indies for black and ethnic minority professionals working in radio production.

New rates for freelances and casuals working for BBC Scotland have been published.

Members working in outside broadcasts for BBC Radio have settled their long running pay dispute.

The union’s Scottish Freelance members have voted overwhelmingly to endorse the pay deal arrived at with BBC Scotland last month.

Crew and cast members of the BBC’s Casualty are to join Bristol’s Christmas shoppers to campaign to keep the production in the city.

BECTU has challenged Ofcom to develop a “strong and coherent regulatory ideology” to meet its obligations to UK broadcasting.

BECTU has teamed up with MAC PRO to deliver a new benefit for hair and make-up, costume and film artiste members.

Freelances who have worked, or who are working, on ITV’s Emmerdale are signing a petition in support of union recognition.

BBC Scotland has announced that it wants to shed more than 70 posts in round two of its poorly named Creative Futures project.

BECTU’s Writers, Producers and Directors branch is hosting a networking event to mark the festive season.

BECTU has condemned the BBC for turning its back on wholly-owned subsidiary Resources Ltd after 210 job cuts were announced today.

November 2008

Strike action at selected Live Nation venues has been averted after talks this week settled the pay dispute.

Broadcasting unions in France are challenging their government over its plans to cut the funding of their public service channels.

This week’s discussions at the Northern Ireland Assembly about UTV’s plans to cut a third of its staff look set to widen the debate.

BECTU has expressed its disappointment at the BBC Trust’s decision to reject plans for new BBC local news services on the web.

The Theatre Safety Committee is to produce an Incident Enquiry Form as an aid to improving theatre health and safety.

Public service broadcasting in Northern Ireland is under threat, BECTU has told politicians at Stormont today.

BBC Scotland has notified BECTU today (14 November 2008) of the decision to cancel production of Phoo Action.

Northern Ireland’s political leaders have united to call on UTV to stop its current redundancy exercise.

After months of talks, BECTU's Scottish Freelance branch and BBC Scotland agree annual rises for freelances and casuals.

Theatre members employed by Live Nation in Edinburgh, Liverpool and Bristol have voted to take strike action over pay.

BECTU has been notified today (11 November 2008) of Virgin Media’s plans to cut up to 2200 jobs during the next two to three years.

The campaign to save UTV's local programmes will go to the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont on 20 November 2008.

Riggers keen to improve their skills and to gain formal industry accreditation can get financial help to complete their training.

BECTU has agreed a 2008/9 pay deal for Odeon projectionists following a ballot of members.

October 2008

BECTU has started a public campaign to challenge UTV's plans to cut jobs and to slash local programming.

The South Eastern Regional TUC’s Creative and Leisure section, is organising a conference on the future of public service broadcasting.

BECTU and Disney Theatrical Productions have reached a three-year agreement on pay.

BECTU is urging ITV plc and fellow union, the NUJ, to resolve their differences over the company’s current proposals for redundancy pay.

Doctors, the BBC’s popular daytime soap, is to stay in Birmingham thanks in part to BECTU’s campaign and the support of Midlands MPs.

BECTU’s Annual Women’s Conference on Saturday 22 November 2008 has adopted a Future Positive theme.

The deadline for applications for the posts of Senior Lecturer in Camera and Editing Department Technician is Friday 24 October 2008.

BECTU has registered a dispute with Ulster TV over its proposed redundancy programme.

Film director Ken Loach and BECTU’s Gerry Morrissey will discuss trade union organisation at an open event tonight, 16 October 2008.

The changes highlighted by the BBC’s Network Supply Review should be achieved without any compulsory redundancies.

BECTU has condemned the decision by ITV Granada to close the Factual Department in Manchester.

BECTU has negotiated hearing healthcare discounts with Harley Street Hearing for all members.

BECTU members are being encouraged to support the national pensions lobby of Parliament on Wednesday 22 October 2008.

Award winning film director, Ken Loach, will be in conversation with General Secretary, Gerry Morrissey, at a special event next week.

BBC Director General Mark Thompson will be the keynote speaker at a debate organised by entertainment unions on 21 October 2008.

BECTU believes that sensitive BBC data may be placed at risk if Siemens’ off-shoring plans go ahead.

September 2008

Today’s announcement signals ITV’s decision to move to ‘regional’ rather than local news.

BECTU has accused Ofcom and ITV of betraying regional audiences after the regulator gave the go-ahead to massive cuts in services.

Members at Johnson Controls International have voted to accept a 4% pay increase, backdated to the pay anniversary date of 1 July.

BECTU is a partner is an industry and nationwide campaign to bring more black and minority ethnic students into student radio.

Freelances working on EastEnders have won the right to be represented by BECTU, it was confirmed last night.

BECTU members working in West End theatres have accepted a 4.8% pay award effective from 6 October 2008.

Ambassadors Theatre Group staff in Glasgow have voted to fight planned redundancies and a plan to migrate their work to London.

Members employed by Culture and Sport Glasgow have been called to take part in a joint union 24-hour strike on 24 September 2008.

Bournemouth is the venue for BECTU’s next Annual Conference in April 2009, which again follows a new format.

BECTU is advertising a vacancy for a national official, based in London. The deadline for applications is Friday 26 September 2008.

On the first day of the TUC’s annual conference, delegates have delivered overwhelming support for BECTU’s two motions.

The BBC is to launch a new initiative, the Journalism Talent Pool, which aims to improve diversity in the Corporation’s newsrooms.

BECTU is inviting West End theatre workers to take part in focus groups looking at the updating of roles in nine job families.

Members at Wilson James, the BBC’s security contractor in London, have accepted a 3.8% pay rise backdated to 1 July 2008.

Members at Culture and Sport Glasgow are following their strike last week with a work to rule in pursuit of better pay.

August 2008

The Scottish Parliament’s Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has today refused to cross BECTU’s picket line.

A revised pay offer from Red Bee Media is now being considered by BECTU members.

A 24-hour strike at Culture and Sport Glasgow venues will go ahead from 00.05 on 29 August 2008.

BECTU’s branch at BBC Kingswood Warren has suspended the strike planned for tomorrow, Friday 29 August.

Members at the BBC’s Kingswood Warren research centre will strike next week over plans to move them to London.

The BBC Trust is expected to report in November following consultation on plans for new and enhanced local web services.

Officials involved in the dispute with the BBC over the pay and grading of radio OB engineers have agreed to hold further talks at local level.

Union members at Red Bee have stopped short of delivering a mandate for strike action in pursuit of a better pay offer for 2008/09.

BECTU has requested an urgent meeting with management at BBC Scotland over major changes at River City.

Members at Siemens have voted to accept a revised pay offer in a consultative ballot which closed today (11 August).

The BBC has agreed to suspend its South Asia restructure programme to allow for more meaningful consultation with BECTU and the NUJ.

Film industry construction crews have voted solidly to accept a pay review which starts with a cost-of-living 4.6% pay rise in the first year.

Voting closed today (8 August 2008) in the by-election to fill a vacancy on the NEC for the London Production Division.

BECTU has described as “dangerous” proposals before the European Union which aim to cut working time protection for freelances.

BECTU has urged ITV to reconnect to public service and to reclaim its reputation for good quality programmes.

The industrial action ballot of members at Red Bee Media is entering its final week; the vote will close on 13 August.

Channel 4 no longer employs its own playout staff following their transfer to Red Bee Media on 1 August.

Members at Siemens SIS working on BBC contracts are currently voting on a slight improvement to pay for the remainder of 2008.

Members in BECTU’s plasterer, riggers, set crafts and stagehand branches are being invited to vote on a three-year pay deal.

The London Studios, part of ITV, has started a 30-day consultation with BECTU over proposed job losses.

Derby Playhouse is to reopen in September and several former staff could return to the theatre.

Landlines at BECTU’s head office are working again following disruption which has lasted most of this working week.

July 2008

Strike action on 1 August at Culture and Sport Glasgow has been suspended following agreement to reopen negotiations.

This week’s leak suggesting that Ofcom favours the retention of the Border licence has prompted an open letter to ITV’s Michael Jermey.

The strike on 1 August at venues run by Culture and Sport Glasgow goes ahead despite efforts to end the dispute at ACAS today.

In response to the current disruption to telephone communication with head office, three emergency numbers are now available.

In the wake of a record £400,000 fine, BECTU is urging the BBC to make sure its workforce continues to be supported.

Landlines into BECTU’s head office will be down for several more days following confirmation from BT of a major fault.

Members at the Royal Opera House have voted to accept a 4.5% pay deal; the decision was taken at a branch meeting yesterday.

Peggy Elvin, widow of ACTT’s first General Secretary George Elvin (1907-1984), passed away on Thursday 24 July, aged 98.

BECTU apologises to callers trying to contact head office by landline telephone this week.

Staff at Culture and Sport Glasgow are preparing for a 24-hour strike from midnight on Friday 1 August in a dispute over their pay.

BECTU has submitted two motions for debate at this year’s TUC Congress in September.

ITV could get the OK to cut £40million from regional news and the BBC still faces “top-slicing” says a leak to the Guardian today.

The prospect of disruption to the BBC’s Olympics coverage on radio has been lifted.

Industrial action by BBC Radio Outside Broadcasts engineers could affect the BBC’s Olympics coverage, says BECTU.

Members in BBC Radio Outside Broadcasts will start a programme of industrial action next week in pursuit of a pay and regrading claim.

The deadlock in construction crew negotiations has been broken following talks at ACAS.

Border TV’s campaign to save its flagship programme, Lookaround, prompted 13,000 people to write to Ofcom.

BECTU is leading a campaign to keep BBC daytime series, Doctors, in production at its Birmingham site.

In a consultative ballot 77% of BBC Resources members have voted to accept a new pay and pensions package.

A tribunal case brought by BECTU on behalf of former staff at the Derby Playhouse has succeeded.

The ballot for a National Executive Committee representative for the union’s London Production Division opens in a week’s time.

Union officials have reminded freelances working for the BBC to examine how they are being treated in respect of holiday pay.

BECTU and the NUJ are campaigning against plans to move significant parts of the BBC World Service overseas.

BECTU has criticised BBC executives who opted to take their annual bonuses in a year when some 2000 staff are losing their jobs.

BECTU has criticised the BBC for pocketing a £184m Pension Fund windfall whilst forcing up members contributions.

BECTU members in Siemens SIS working on BBC contracts are being balloted on industrial action in response to a 2.15% pay offer.

Red Bee Media members are being recommended to reject a two year pay offer in a consultative ballot.

Details of BECTU’s 2008 London Production Division Annual Conference have been announced.

June 2008

FT2 (Film and Television Training) starts recruitment today (30 June 2008) for a new apprenticeship scheme.

BECTU’s London Freelances’ Fair 2008 has been dubbed “the best ever” by some of those attending the event.

BECTU has submitted its response to Ofcom’s second Public Service Broadcasting review.

A two-year agreement at ITN, which has been backed by members, has headed off a dispute with the company.

BECTU members employed by BBC Resources are taking part in a consultative ballot on future rights on pay and pensions.

BECTU is lending its support to the Unite Against Facism demonstration in Central London on Saturday 21 June 2008.

A consultative ballot on a 4.5% pay offer for Arqiva members is underway.

BECTU’s bid to secure recognition for freelances working on EastEnders is nearing a key stage.

Projectionist members at Odeon Cinemas have voted overwhelmingly to reject a proposed realignment of the payroll system.

May 2008

Registration for BECTU’s third London Freelances’ Fair, to be held at BAFTA on Friday 27 June 2008, is now open.

BECTU has had its first, union-wide discussion about its potential contribution to eco-friendly policy.

Union members at Associated Press and Television News in Camden, London, have unanimously rejected a below inflation pay offer.

BECTU played its part in the defence of existing abortion rights by supporting last night’s rally at the Houses of Parliament.

BECTU has accused ITV of failing to deliver on its 5-year plan after 89 job losses were announced yesterday in Leeds and Manchester.

Long running pay talks at the National Theatre have resulted in a significant boost for the lower paid.

BBC Resources members are to be balloted on revised management proposals on their future.

The Federation of Entertainment Unions is seeking to appoint a part-time project co-ordinator based in Cardiff.

News this week that the Arts Council has settled a legal challenge to its authority has revived hopes that the theatre will reopen.

Delegates to BECTU’s Annual Conference in Liverpool on 9 May voted down a proposal to review the union’s affiliation to the Labour Party.

BECTU has increased to £5 million the public liability insurance cover (PLI) available to freelance members.

BECTU is challenging an attempt by the BBC to change the way freelance workers present their invoices.

The government has given Creative and Cultural Skills the go-ahead to build a new National Skills Academy for theatre.

The Theatrical Management Association, the employers’ body for regional theatre, has approved a 3.5% increase for 2008/9.

BECTU has launched a campaign to keep production of the popular BBC drama series, Casualty, in Bristol.

The Hair and Make-Up Branch has published its recommended rates for work on the range of broadcast and film output.

April 2008

Discussions at ITN over the company’s proposals to make £300,000 worth of savings from staff benefits could soon be put into dispute.

Key research by Skillset designed to identify current skills needs is now underway. The deadline for replies is Friday 30 May.

BECTU has welcomed the decision by the Low Pay Commission to announce an increase in the national minimum wage.

The campaign by Border TV staff to save their much-loved local news programme arrives in London today.

BECTU members working in regional theatres have voted to accept a 3.5% increase for 2008/9.

BECTU has today urged Ofcom to listen to all stakeholders affected by the regulator’s second review into public service broadcasting.

Filmscan 2008, the directory for the film and television industry in Ireland, is now available with new and updated professional listings.

Pinewood Studios will host a presentation of short films on Tuesday 29 April.

BECTU is strongly critical of ITV's revised proposal for Regional News which is published today.

A press report has suggested that UK freelance directors have no collective voice and that a "new" organisation intends to fill the gap.

March 2008

Staff at the Tameside Hippodrome are caught in the crossfire in an argument over redundancy payments.

BECTU members working as technicians (projectionists) in Odeon Cinemas have gone into dispute with the company.

Members working for BBC TV Outside Broadcasts (OBs) have voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal on the transfer of their employment.

Members of BECTU have voted to accept the agreement in principle reached with the BBC in January.

BECTU has sought an urgent meeting with the BBC following the loss of personal data for staff assigned to work on the Olympics in Beijing.

BECTU members working with electricity are alerted to the soon-to-be published British Standards Institute draft new code of practice.

BBC and BBC Worldwide members should now be in receipt of consultative ballot forms linked to critical talks with the BBC.

The Competition Commission’s decision to allow Macquarie to buy National Grid Wireless paves the way for significant change.

BECTU has reached a new deal for theatre technicians at the National Theatre which provides for Sunday working.

BECTU has assured members that no agreement has been reached over a sale of the BBC’s TV facilities subsidiary.

Tony Lennon, BECTU’s current President, has been elected to serve a further term from 2008-2010.

Staff at the Midlands Arts Centre (mac) in Birmingham are appealing for support for their petition to retain their jobs.

Staff at the London International Film School have been awarded an annual pay increase of 4.8% following union negotiations there.

February 2008

This week the Derby Playhouse has been dealt a further blow to its chances of survival.

BECTU officials are to brief the union’s parliamentary group on the current threat to ITV regional news on 26 March.

Members at Odeon have voted by an overwhelmingly majority to reject the company’s proposed pay review for 2008.

Staff employed at the Midlands Arts Centre (mac) in Birmingham are to launch a campaign to save their jobs.

BECTU has warned that 5,000 new training opportunities in the cultural industries should not undermine existing jobs.

The BBC cancelled a meeting with union representatives last week because it had no firm proposal on the Resources sale to table.

BECTU’s president has accused Ofcom of treachery over its plans for the sale of spectrum set to be freed up by digital switchover.

Tameside Hippodrome staff face an anxious few weeks as Live Nation and the local Council lock horns over the theatre’s future.

The Exeter Northcott and the Bristol Old Vic are just two theatres which came out winners in the recent battle over arts funding.

Birds Eye View, the women filmmakers’ organisation, has announced a fantastic programme for their London Festival from 6-14 March.

BBC Scotland is unlikely to pursue compulsory redundancies after a strong response from staff to the recent call for volunteers.

The Derby Playhouse closed its doors for the second time in as many months on Saturday 2 February.

January 2008

BECTU met with JCI management this week in an attempt to resolve pay issues affecting new staff.

BECTU has today welcomed the government’s decision to order BSkyB to sell part of its 17.9% shareholding in ITV plc.

The Federation of Entertainment Unions is advertising to fill a vacancy for a secretary/co-ordinator.

Following all night talks the BBC and the joint unions have reached an agreement in principle over the current dispute.

Contrary to recent reports BECTU has not reached agreement with the National Theatre over Sunday performances.

BECTU has welcomed the news that the Directors Guild of America has signed a deal with US studios and producers.

The Technicolor film laboratory will be moving to a new purpose built facility on the Pinewood Studios site.

Negotiators for BECTU's Scottish Freelance Branch have registered a failure to agree in their pay talks with BBC Scotland.

Nominations for the election of BECTU President and NEC representatives for the 2008-2010 term of office are now open.

Liverpool, this year’s City of Culture, is to host BECTU’s 2008 Conference on Friday and Saturday 9-10 May.

Johnson Controls has gone back on a pay deal by saying only staff with a least one year’s service will benefit.

BECTU has backed an industry letter to the Culture Minister expressing “grave concerns” over Arts Council theatre funding cuts.

BECTU has condemned So Television for advertising jobs that break the minimum wage law by paying extras nothing for their work.

Despite an extra £50m available for the arts, Arts Council England has announced funding proposals that could force many theatres to close.

A union threat of industrial action over job cuts at the BBC has been suspended to allow further talks.

Last updated 20 March 2009