It’s time to get on the Channel 2 Grapevine to help protect your rates.
Over 250 ADs already use the Grapevine – Do You?
Sign up here – www.tinyurl.com/ADGrapevine
A little background history to the Grapevine
In 2015 the BECTU Assistant Directors branch published a comprehensive rate card for ADs working in the UK, the first such document in many years. The card has been well received within the industry and, despite push-back from certain areas, it has resulted in an improvement to pay and conditions for many ADs.
Simply publishing a set of rates is only the first step in a much longer process of improving the situation of all ADs working in the UK. That process requires communication and education, not only for ADs but with the wider industry as a whole.
A private Facebook forum was set up in early 2015 to bring ADs together to discuss the current industrial situation, to seek help where needed, and to be able to connect with others in what can be a very isolated department. It has created an unprecedented flow of information and co-operation within the AD department, and has almost 700 members. An off-shoot ADA/BECTU members only forum has also been established for early discussion of Union and Association business.
As the rate card permeated the industry the question arose of how to ensure the new rates were actually being paid?
One of the tools to assist with this is the Channel 2 Grapevine.
What is the Grapevine?
The Grapevine is a fast mass-communication service which can help you protect your rate during employment negotiations.
As a member of the grapevine, if you are offered a rate below the minimum stated on the rate card you can choose to alert the grapevine by text message. This alert will then be forwarded anonymously to everyone on the grapevine. All grapevine members pledge to not then accept the same job for the same rate. In an ideal scenario, the Line Producer, not being able to find another AD to take the rate, comes back to you with an improved offer.
Some key points to remember:
1. You are in control of your own work and rates. You are under no obligation to accept or reject work based on the rate. Other factors can affect your decision, eg. Existing relationship with the director/producer, a particular interest in the project etc. If you want to do the job but feel the rate is too low, post it to the grapevine.
2. The grapevine is for Below Minimum offers only. It is not a tool by which you push up a rate that already adheres to the card.
3. It is essential that you do not accept a grapevine-posted job at a rate below the recommended minimum. If you undercut a colleague you are not only preventing rates from increasing, you are forever supporting lower rates for yourself.
The Grapevine is a free to use service, but to be truly successful it needs everyone to be on board. Spread the word to your colleagues and increase the user base. The more ADs that use the grapevine the better the conditions will become for ALL ADs.
What happens now?
The BECTU Assistant Directors branch has recently published its updated hourly rate card for 2016.
It can be downloaded from https://www.bectu.org.uk/advice-resources/rates/assistant-directors
A quick reference guide to daily and weekly rates can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/ADRateRef
BECTU and PACT are in talks to agree a new set of Terms and Conditions. The AD branch is central to these negotiations.
Industrial organisation between ADs has greatly increased, with positive results for many. Be part of the process. Join the BECTU AD branch. https://www.bectu.org.uk/get-involved/join-bectu