AD Guild Industry Update: A Briefing via Bectu

We are sharing an important industry briefing via Bectu, based on a summary reported on Tuesday 23rd April 2024. This includes the ongoing dispute regarding BT & EC. Pact have suggested they can eradicate broken turnaround and minimise early call.

Pact TV Drama Agreement

Ongoing dispute regarding BT & EC. Pact have suggested they can eradicate broken turnaround and minimise early call. Following a meeting with Pact and the reps it became clear that completely removing broken turnaround would be a challenge. Pact believed the hiring of more dailies would fix the problem, but the subtlety of filming sometimes needs other solutions. Bectu have submitted their proposals and awaiting their response.

TV Drama Guidance 

It was agreed Bectu would review the implementation of the agreement and provide joint guidance (if necessary) every 6 months. Successfully agreed guidance for 6 points and working on a further 4 points.

Low budget feature film

Pact have invited Bectu to discuss rates, terms and conditions for low budget feature films. At first the proposal submitted by Pact was a bit confusing because it included a selection of construction grades. Bectu requested this was separated out which they have done. A meeting of reps to discuss their strategy will take place shortly.

APA negotiations 

This covers commercials. The current arrangement runs until 1st July. Reps have met twice and discussed whether they wanted to review terms, conditions and rates. It was decided that pay was more important and therefore they would focus on getting a decent pay increase. The electricians estimated that over the past 10 years the rates had fallen approximately 15% behind inflation (this would be similar for all grades). The negotiating committee have now met with the APA which proved to be tough because advertising was still grappling with reduced budgets. The APA agreed they would come back with a counter offer.

BBC Studios for scripted productions.

Bectu currently have two separate drama terms and conditions. One convers continuing drama series and the other series and serials. Proposed to include comedy and River Picture titles too.

It was agreed Bectu would rejig the agreement, so it’s linked to budgets in a similar way the Pact/Bectu agreement operates.

Holiday entitlement.

Changes come in from 1st April 2024. The union has been taking legal advice about how this should be applied. Previously rolled up holiday entitlement was illegal.

Rate cards do not express labour costs and holiday entitlement separately, so we advised reps about updating the cards to reflect the change.

The percentage should be 12.07% which is being challenged by Pact and others – meeting with the employers scheduled at the time of the meeting has now taken place. Pact disputed bectu's interpretation, but they have shared their legal advice which they are reviewing.  

Further legal advice will follow shortly.

Competition Marketing Authority 

Investigation into sport began in July 2022 regarding OB workers and possible cartel like behaviour by broadcasters and others. They haven’t reached a decision about whether there has been an infringement of competition law. This investigation has been extended. It’s believed the CMA has collected a huge amount of evidence and is currently sifting through this which has contributed to the delay.

Investigation in to scripted production began in October 2023 which will run until a minimum of October 2024. Again, this includes the broadcaster and several independent production companies.

The CMA want to see whether there is any overt or tacit collusion to keep wages at certain levels. Rates either need to be negotiated independently or fixed through formal collective bargaining processes. Bectu are expecting to meet with the CMA at some point.  

Industry slow down

Production spend globally was down $14.7 billion in 2023

Production starts in 2023 was down 24% globally.

It was reported that during 2021 and 2022 the industry had the streaming wars — which saw several companies greenlight an excess of content in an effort to compete with each other —the studios and streamers have been tightening their belts, slashing their staffs, restructuring their businesses and slimming down their production budgets and slates.

Summer is looking busier, but it’s estimated the industry won’t be back to semi normal until 2025.

Lives behind the Lens campaign

The campaign for flexible working for parents and carers working in film and TV launched on 22 April. More information can be found on the Bectu website here. In order to measure success, they have launched a short survey so they can track improvement in members requesting and getting flexible working agreements in place. 


If you have any questions regarding the information in this email, please contact