Negotiations for British TV dramas fall apart as Bectu rejects the pact offer

Negotiations between producers and crew over UK TV drama negotiations have collapsed.

UK trade union Bectu has confirmed that its members voted overwhelmingly to reject an offer tabled by UK producers’ association Pact.

“Our members voted to overwhelmingly support Bectu’s position in response to Pact’s recent offer, giving us a clear mandate to seek further talks,” Philippa Childs, Bectu’s head, said in a statement.

“The UK TV drama industry has reached a critical juncture with many crews suffering burnout, low morale and unable to sustain family life and their own well-being. At a time when the industry is thriving, we know that many talented workers are leaving because of the unsustainable culture of working long hours. It is time to address these issues with an agreement that addresses our members’ concerns and is future-proof to ensure the industry and its people thrive for years to come.”

“Bectu remains committed to reaching a negotiated solution in line with our goal of improving crew wellbeing, reducing excessive and unsocial hours, and supporting industry growth. We look forward to meeting Pact to discuss a course of action as a matter of urgency.”

The vote follows weeks of mounting pressure on both sides of the negotiations.

Over 75 production companies wrote to their crew members asking them to consider Pact’s offer. However, the @BritCrewStories Instagram account, which shares stories of crew mistreatment with its 11,000 followers, has encouraged union members to turn down the offer.

Pact’s proposal got off to a rocky start earlier this month after the organization surprised Bectu by releasing some of the terms of its bid to the media in a statement titled “Pact Offers Significantly Improved Terms for Scripted TV Crews.”

In response, Childs said, “While we are pleased that Pact has presented an improved offer, we are surprised that the detail was made public before we had an opportunity to review it and consult with our representatives.” Negotiations for British TV dramas fall apart as Bectu rejects the pact offer

Charles Jones

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