Career Development: Task 2


Assessment Task 2 – (Criteria 1.2)

Who are BECTU and what do they do?


BECTU is an acronym for Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematographic and Theatre Union. Founded in 1991, BECTU is a UK based trade union that supports over 25,000 workers in broadcasting, entrainment and media industries. For over 20 years, BECTU have been proving services to thousands of members, offering personal advice, training courses and career development opportunities along with other benefits and general support of people in the selected industries. BECTU belongs to the Federation of Entertainment Union that consists of seven sub-unions such as The Musicians Union, The PFA (Professional Footballers Association), The Writers Guild of Great Britain and others.

A few years ago, the BBC offered their staff a flat rate increase of £475 and for employees earning less than £37,276 a 1% increase on their pension schemes. The BBC also froze the pay of employees earning over £37,726. This offer was significantly less than that of other public sector employers. BECTU criticized the BBC for this proposal, calling it ‘insulting’ and ‘unacceptable’ because it was below the assumed rate of inflation at the time, so needed to be higher.

After many executive meetings and discussions, BECTU began a campaign. This campaign set out to persuade management at the BBC to rethink and come up with an improved offer for their employees with regards to pay and pensions. The campaign received decent publicity and gathered support from thousands and in the summer of the following year, the BBC responded with an improved offer of a £400 pay rise for employees, along with a 2% increase on their pension’s schemes. Although this offer does not sound much, it is double what the BBC initially intended to invest. BECTU members decided to vote on the proposed improvements the BBC offered, resulting in a 65.8% approval rating which led to BECTU accepting the offer.

This case is a perfect example for who BECTU are and what they stand for. They acted as the ‘voice’ of employees who feel they were receiving unfair treatment. Without BECTU, this case would have been opened and closed without anybody being able to change it; however with the help of BECTU and their campaigning, workers received a much better and fairer deal. BECTU continue to offer help, advice and support to thousands of members with payment issues and have become a useful and important part of the entertainment and broadcasting industries. I think BECTU are a very reassuring union to have support this industry, this case shows how they can offer superb support to workers and provide answers and solutions effectively.