Bectu & Pact Extend UK TV Drama Agreement Negotiations Once Again Ballot Now Expected In December

Another extension has been agreed between Pact and Bectu for the pair’s UK TV Drama Agreement, with the saga now looking set to rumble on for almost a year.

Broadcasting union Bectu was supposed to be balloting its members from 14 October to 23 October with a result due today but instead the five-year agreement, which has already been extended twice and was due to lapse on September 1, will be balloted in December. Negotiations between the pair over the working agreement that has stood since 2017 first broke down in February 2022.

The move will give indie trade body Pact the opportunity to draft an agreement in full so as to avoid any doubt, according to CEO John McVay.

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The issue has already been balloted on, with Bectu’s members “overwhelmingly” rejecting Pact’s terms over the summer.

The pair have had a longstanding disagreement over areas such as working hours, prep and wrap and wellbeing.

Large indies, streamers and studios have tended to side with Pact. Major producers such as Banijay, Bad Wolf and Element Pictures took the unprecedented step of writing to UK crew urging them to sign up to Pact’s agreement in September or risk “the whole of [UK] scripted TV being damaged,” and subsequently Pact invited commissioners to a “summit” to break the deadlock.

Deadline understands streaming services had been considering pulling shows out of the UK if Bectu’s full demands were met due to what they would deem too sharp an increase in costs.

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