Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Nov Meeting - Speaker Luke Crawley - BECTU

24 November 2012

Bullet points from Luke's speech & Question & Answers and also from the floor as follows:

  • Freeze of licence fee the most disastrous decision made.
  • World Service, Monitoring + S4C all previously funded by Goverment now under BBC juristriction & budget from 2014.
  • Therefore huge cuts within the budget to accommodate this.
  • Murdoch discredited & gone yet cuts still strong.
  • Asian Network heavily affected with redundancies - BBC pushing redundancies across the board - BECTU taking action for their members.
  • BBC campaign in Birmingham - fronted by Branch Sec Tracey Briggs - when pointed out that Birmingham 2nd city over Bristol & Salford - BBC dismissive.
  • Director General income gone from £850,000 - to £450,000 - what will new DG Tony Hall be on?
  • 3/4 of Britains watch SKY - not just sport but the BBC channels as well - yet BBC PAYS SKY to broadcast!
  • In America FOX TV pay the Public Broadcaster.
  • In France - Sarkozy has put a levy on mobile phone coverage of 1/2% that goes back into the film industry.
  • BECTU wriiten to Government to reconsider Licence Fee - no answer.
  • Have to support the BBC & fight the corner of Public Broadcasting & we as a Trade Union alongside BECTU need to show our support.
  • Concern / hope that Labour will change things - recent meeting of Branch Member with Shadow Arts minister Da n Jarvis showed that didn't take the Arts seriously.
  • Football Association - joined with Equity under FEU - they don't need public funding.
  • New changes to Terms & Conditions  for new employees means: Min 40 hours - NO overtime pay after that. Affects make up & wardrobe workers hugely - always the 1st to be on set & the last to leave. Have only just got 'box money' ie payment for their supplies etc - prior to this, paid for it themselves.
  • BBC Drama - farmed out to Independent Producers -  25% BBC - 70% Independents. What inflluence does the BBC  have? -  PACT agreement. is the most used & the best agreement for our members.
  • BBC - have 2  agreements one for night &  one for day - there is no law that says you HAVE to pay overtime - House Agreements can overide Terms & Conditions of overtime.
  • Should be more contact / connection between our unions in the Federation - trickier for actors as only usually on set for 1 - 2 days - friendly & get on professionally but unable to bring up more important views that affect all.
  • WAY FORWARD - Conservative party against public money going into ANYTHING - irrespective whether it is making money. Only invest in private resources.
  • Arts Council invested heavily in Royal Opera, ENO  & RSC plus enormous amount of private sponsorship.
  • Conservative philosophy - Flagship companies should be protected to the detriment of smaller companies.
  • Once Tony Hall (new DG) on board & Saville Enquiry has moved on - we should strongly question the BBC & ALL political parties - "What are you doing for the Arts".
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