TV Negotiations

PACT/BECTU TV Drama Agreement review update


Bectu and Pact have recently met for a review of the TV Drama agreement.

There will be another meeting in late October.

In the meantime, if you are presented with a contract for a TV Drama series, please check that the terms are based on the TV agreement (links below). It should NOT be based on the PACT guidelines that have been circulating. Please see a letter from both PACT and Bectu confirming this.

What is the TV Agreement?

The current TV Drama agreement came into effect from 1st December 2017. The groundbreaking agreement was created to broadly codify the way we work and are paid in TV drama. It included many improvements, including the issuing of a 'deal memo' at the start of work, and the standardisation of many terms such as Continuous Working day which were previously open to interpretation between different productions.

What about other TV production?

Consultation to introduce a similar agreement that would also cover all BBC series and serials is currently delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis, but is an area BECTU are looking into. There could be the potential to see if this can be expanded to other areas such as comedy and factual if it was supported by enough branches.

Art Department does not do prep and wrap!

Some productions have been implementing up to 45 minutes at the beginning, and the end of the day for prep and wrap, particularly on TV series. This is on top of the contracted 11+1/10+1 hours.

The PACT guidelines are that prep and wrap is “customary to that department and in accordance with current working practice.” and that "Prep and Wrap times should always reflect normal industry practice." Art Department has not customarily done prep and wrap, so productions should not be enforcing it now. The Bectu Art Department branch is very clear that Art Department does not do prep and wrap.

Prep and wrap is not paid for. Any hours that are in addition to your Standard working day and are paid, are counted as overtime rather than prep and wrap

If you have been asked to do prep and wrap, please check back here in the coming weeks for information on what you can do.

The story of the re-negotiations so far...

The story so far…

  • 24-05-21: Bectu officials submitted a letter to Pact on behalf of reps and members outlining priority issues in the Agreement for review.

  • Pact did not respond until nearly a month later and on 22nd June wrote back, not agreeing to meet collectively but instead suggested meeting only with a few branch representatives individually.

  • In the letter Pact said it was their opinion that HoDs needed to manage their departments better and argued crew had been exploiting the agreement to claim more overtime.

  • Bectu responded on 24th June by reiterating the urgency for a meeting, explaining all branches would have to be involved in the talks and gave a deadline of 1st September for the review to be finalised.

  • After pressure from Bectu, on the 16th July Pact finally agreed to meet but not until after 1st September – more than 3 months from Bectu’s initial meeting request.

  • On Thursday 29th July TV Drama reps attended a meeting to discuss and agree the next steps toward initiating urgent negotiations with Pact.

  • In October 2021, PACT met with Bectu reps to review the TV Drama agreement. A further meeting was planned for later in October.

How do I get involved?

Dates and details of the next set of negotiations for the agreement are still unknown, but we'll be in touch as soon as we have them. If you are active in TV drama and have suggestions about how the contractual terms and conditions can be improved please get in touch!