UPDATE 05:22 PT: UK trade body Pact has warned that the Bectu/Pact TV drama Agreement will collapse by September if broadcasting union Bectu doesn’t agree to its terms, with the union hitting back by claiming Pact is “unhelpful and doing nothing to progress a resolution.”
The trade body was responding to Bectu’s decision to urge its members to reject Pact’s offer when it goes to ballot tomorrow.
According to Pact, “financial modelling now being done by producers makes clear many productions will not be shot in the UK under the increased costs from BECTU’s alternative proposals.”
The trade body’s Deputy CEO Max Rumney said Bectu’s alternative proposal around working hours and wellbeing will be “a retrograde step that risks immense damage to TV scripted production in the UK.”
“If Pact’s offer is rejected, there will be no collective agreement after 1st September, and no transparency or certainty on terms of work,” said Rumney.
“Everyone – broadcasters, streamers, crew as well as independent producers who have been negotiating in good faith – will lose if that happens. BECTU is playing a dangerous game.”
Responding, Bectu Head Philippa Childs described the comments as “unhelpful and doing nothing to progress a resolution” to this dispute.”
“Pact have had six months to get around the table and provide a revised offer that is clear in its interpretation and negotiate on points of disagreement with a view to reaching agreement. Instead they chose to publish to the press a revised offer just hours after it was sent to the union, undermining Bectu representatives who have a key role to play here,” she added.
Previous: Relations between UK broadcasting union Bectu and producer trade body Pact are plunging new depths as the union urges its members to reject Pact’s latest TV drama terms offer.
Pact set out the fresh terms in an attempt to solve the deadlock over the pair’s TV drama agreement last week but Bectu Head Philippa Childs has called on thousands of members to turn the offer down due to its “not adequately stipulating the boundaries between working time and personal time, and lacking the detail and clarity necessary for our members to feel confident that their concerns have been addressed.”
“We have been clear from the beginning that the updated agreement needs to urgently address the long hours and wellbeing crisis our members are facing,” said Childs. “The current offer does not do that; many of the improvements only apply to shooting hours/days, devaluing work done outside filming hours, and there are loopholes that would allow productions to schedule around penalties.”
Members will be balloted on Wednesday and the ballot will close on Sunday July 31, with Pact agreeing to keep discussions open after the ballot.
Childs added that the union will continue discussions with Pact to “deliver an agreement that meets our objective of improving crew wellbeing and reducing excessive and unsociable hours, while supporting industry growth.”
Pact’s offer was met with “surprise” by Childs last week as it was sent to the press mere hours after being delivered to the union. That offer set out measures including scripted TV crew benefitting from shorter working days, additional pay for “prep and wrap”, unsocial hours payments, an increased overtime fee cap and bank holidays paid at double time.
The Bectu/Pact TV Drama Agreement is set to expire in a few weeks and, if negotiations fail, UK drama producers will no longer have a blanket set of terms to work from when setting contracts. The row has shades of the IATSE/AMPTP dispute late last year, in the U.S., which was eventually resolved.
Source by deadline.com