Pledge your support to Bectu by singing their open letter to Pact

Aug 13, 2021

The Pact/Bectu TV Drama Agreement was scheduled to be renegotiated in 2019, the review is now 2 years overdue.

The agreement sets out mutually agreed terms and conditions for production companies engaging crew within the UK. It was scheduled to be reviewed after the first two years, but this never happened. In 2019 and 2020, Pact produced their own ‘guidance’ to the agreement without consultation with Bectu. This has resulted in  detrimental terms and longer contracted hours for crew.

In May 2021, Bectu wrote to Pact to request urgent talks and the withdrawal of the unagreed ‘guidance’. Due to Pact’s delayed response these talks have not yet commenced. 

The open letter reads as follows:

Dear Pact Producers,

It’s been a tough eighteen months, Covid-19 left us unemployed and in some cases without government support. We have collaborated with you to get the industry back on its feet and we continue to work in challenging conditions. 

Despite the pandemic, our industry is flourishing and this success is mainly due to our dedication, creativity, professionalism and freelance flexibility.  

We are angry, hurt and disappointed.

Our representatives have been calling for a meeting with you since May, it took a month to get a written response and in that letter you questioned our professionalism.  

One of the purposes of the TV Drama Agreement was to address long hours culture. However, the Pact guidance has imposed excessive contractual prep and wrap hours on us, even for those who have not traditionally done prep and wrap.  

Deal memos from your companies have included terms which, in our opinion, do not adhere to the agreement.  When we have raised these issues with you, we have been denied work and even sacked. Attempts to resolve differences via the disputes procedure in the agreement have been repeatedly rejected by Pact.

We are calling on you:

    • to set a timetable to complete a review of the agreement as soon as possible. 
    • to enter into meaningful negotiations and match our commitment to review and update the agreement. 
    • to work with us to produce an improved agreement which is valued and respected across the industry.
    • to  prioritise our mental health, wellbeing and work life balance. 

We believe our requests are reasonable and achievable and we hope you agree. Please respect us by collaborating to improve working conditions within our industry.

You can sign here.

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