the media and entertainment union
a sector of Prospect

6 April 2011

BECTU's Scottish Freelance branch has voted unanimously to pursue a campaign for formal recognition with BBC Scotland for all casual workers.

The result follows disagreements between BECTU and BBC Scotland over the status of the ratecard and agreement first negotiated in 2006.

The ratecard sets out agreed rates and conditions for both freelance Schedule D and Schedule E grades who are engaged on a daily basis or for periods of less than four weeks at a time.

Increases to the rates were agreed in 2008 but the BBC now argues that they are not bound by any of those discussions as far as casual workers are concerned. (More background info here).

Statutory option

The Scottish Freelance branch feels very strongly that it must now pursue the statutory option to end BBC Scotland's resistence to fair treatment of casual staff.

Commenting on the situation, Paul McManus, Scottish organiser said:

"BECTU negotiated an agreement on rates and conditions for both freelance and casual workers. If we need to take formal steps to ensure that the BBC honours that agreement then BECTU will go down that road."

UK law provides for formal applications for union recognition to be submitted to the Central Arbitration Committee.