U.K. TV Drama Negotiations: Bectu, Pact Reach Agreement After Months of Uncertainty

After months of uncertainty, negotiations over U.K. TV drama production terms between crews and producers have come to a close. The latest offer from producers’ body Pact has been accepted by broadcasting and crew union Bectu following a ballot.

The original 5-year agreement ran out on Sept. 1 and was extended twice as the two organizations tried to come to terms.

“Pact welcomes the result of the recent BECTU ballot, which accepted new terms and conditions of work for crew in TV and SVOD drama series,” the group said in a statement. “This agreement, which comes into force on 1st January 2023, has a term of three years and will provide stability for the industry at a time of economic challenge. The agreement covers all scripted including regional/nations drama, kids and comedy – productions that can be difficult to finance but are fundamental to the drama landscape because they are a training ground for new and diverse talent and crew members.

“Pact would like to thank the heads of production from member companies who worked tirelessly in order to find pragmatic and fair solutions to issues raised during negotiations.”

The new agreement averts a situation in which crew members would have had to individually negotiate terms with producers on each production, a scenario that would have been “chaotic” for the industry.

The agreement governs the terms and conditions between crew and producers on any high-end TV project shot in the U.K. Although streamers such as Netflix (who produce British fare such as “The Crown,” pictured above) are not members of Pact, conventionally streamers and foreign studios have always honored the agreement.

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