The Junior Grades Work Group is made up of volunteers from the BECTU Art Department branch Committee. We currently have members from across Art Dept, Set Dec and Graphics, and we all volunteer our time to help with the issues that affect the Junior Grade members of the Art Department branch.
We were formed in 2019 after an Art Department branch survey on the Major Motion Picture agreement highlighted the negative impact of long working hours on Junior Grades. The aim of the work group is to provide a fairer and previously non existent representation to the Junior Grades.
To qualify as a Junior Grade you need to meet only ONE of the following:
Are aged 35 or under
Earn less the £1400 a week
Have less than three years experience in the industry
Members of the BECTU Art Department branch are able to join the Committee, and the Junior Grades work group within that, at any time throughout the year. This however usually happens around the time of the Annual General Meeting in May, where all the members are invited to see what the Committee have done over the year, vote on the direction they want them to move in and nominate themselves to be involved if they wish.
As a work group we are committed to creating a safe space for Junior Grades to have an open discussion about issues that really affect us. We recognise how hard it can often be to speak up in a room full of HODs. By raising and discussing issues within our work group we are able to work out the best next step of action and to present our finding to the wider Art Department branch committee.
Over the last year we have been advocating for the real living wage for all Junior Grades, a wage that meets the cost of living. We are very happy to say this was achieved in the 2020 Art Department Rate Card. Going forward, since the last AGM in June 2020, the Junior Grades work group has grown in numbers and we are currently looking at issues such as training, negotiating rates, job responsibilities and expectations, and work culture. Alongside these we will continue to raise awareness of the importance of real living wage for all Junior Grades.
We are always open to any members who would like to get involved and contribute to the representation of the future of this industry. Please feel free to reach out and contact us directly here, and keep an eye on social media!