New freelance film and TV agreement
Freelance film and TV members have accepted a new agreement on pay and conditions from industry body PACT.
The agreement with the Producers Association for Film and Television (PACT), the employers' organisation for independent producers, was supported by 98.5% of freelance BECTU members in a postal ballot.
34% of members participated in the ballot after the union recommended acceptance of the offer.
Pay rates for media workers covered by the agreement will increase by 12% from 1 July, after being static for the last three years, and there are also improvements in guaranteed rest breaks.
Holiday entitlement for freelances also improves under the new agreement - credits for paid holiday will now be earned by all PACT contracts regardless of duration.
The gains in holiday entitlement and rest breaks have been inspired by the advent of the UK Working Time Regulations, though in both cases BECTU has won a better deal than the minimum laid down in law.
Supervisory Official Martin Spence, who led the negotiations, said: "This package is a real step forward for the freelances whose skills and creativity underpin the success of this industry. Film and TV production will always be a high-pressure activity, but in recent years we have seen real abuses in terms of dangerously long working hours and criminally inadequate budgets. The members' massive vote of confidence in the new deal can only help in our efforts to put this right."
In contrast to previous agreements with PACT which have usually lasted three years, this one has no expiry date. However the union and employers have agreed that either party can open talks to revise the new agreement after 12 months.
Amended 22 June 1999