Bectu’s campaign is demanding improved working conditions, seeking to improve terms and to create a more sustainable industry for crew, many of whom are suffering from burnout, low morale and compromising their health with excessive hours.
The move comes with mental health and wellbeing in the industry a hot topic, with the latest report from The Film and TV Charity finding that 65% are considering leaving the industry and 13% are experiencing bad mental health issues.
The campaign launches a few weeks after Deadline revealed negotiations between Bectu and producer trade body Pact over a new drama agreement had broken down due to disagreements over wellbeing, with the union serving Pact with six months before it withdraws. The pair have six months to work on the new agreement otherwise it will become defunct.
Bectu National Secretary Spencer MacDonald said: “The UK TV Drama industry has reached a critical point. Crew are feeling burnt out, disrespected and unable to sustain a family life and their own wellbeing.
“The 24/7 film and TV culture is unrealistic and damaging to worker mental health, and we urgently need to reset the industry’s culture and ways of working.”
UK drama is booming and Bectu is concerned that treatment of the workforce will not keep up with this growth. New studios are springing up everywhere, with the latest, Central Bedfordshire’s HOP Studios, revealed last week.