'The Baby'

Source: Sister

‘The Baby’

Pact and Bectu have agreed a second extension to negotiations for their TV Drama Agreement.

Broadcasting union Bectu planned to ballot its members from 14 October to 23 October with a result due today but the ballot has been delayed to late November.

A Bectu spokeswoman said that based on member feedback, both parties feel the current offer “does not provide sufficient detail to make an informed decision” and that the reworked timetable will allow more time to work together to draft a full document for members to consider.

A Pact spokeswoman added that “in order to ensure that there is no uncertainty over the wording being balloted on, it has been agreed – at Pact’s suggestion – that the proposal be developed into a full agreement!.

The proposed new schedule is as follows:

  • Monday 31 October: Pact to consult members at heads of production meeting
  • Thursday 3 November: Pact to send first draft of agreement to Bectu
  • Tuesday 8 November: Pact and Bectu meet to review draft agreement
  • Tuesday 15 November: Final changes to draft to be agreed by this date
  • Wednesday 16 November: Bectu member consultation starts
  • Wednesday 30 November: Bectu ballot opens
  • Saturday 11 December: Bectu ballot closes and result to be communicated as soon as possible

Both parties agreed in August to extend the deadline for the termination of the deal, which relates to working conditions on sub-£7m per hour dramas, by a month from 1 September to 30 September.

The latest extension follows a months-long row between the bodies, with Bectu rejecting Pact’s revised terms for the deal in August. It subsequently sat down with its branch representatives and Pact’s producers from a cross-section of budget levels, while Pact also held talks with its members, the PSBs and Sky last month to discuss the ramifications of the deal potentially coming to an end.

The bodies recommend that crew continue to work under the terms of the 2017 TV Drama Agreement until it is superseded by a new collective agreement, or the agreement expires following the ballot.

This story first appeared on Screen’s sister site Broadcast.