BBC | Writers Guild negotiates 10 percent pay increase

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A negotiation between the Writers Guild of Great Britain and the BBC has resulted in a 10 percent pay increase. Here are the details.

One of the main reasons for last year’s strike was both lack of pay and also lack of pay increases. While AI generated content was, and remains, a contentious issue, fair remuneration continues to be the main focus.

Months later, a negotiation between the Writers Guild of Great Britain and the BBC has resulted in a 10 percent pay increase for writers on BBC productions, Deadline reports. The WGGB called the deal a “significant increase on minimum fees and compensation for the commercial exploitation of [writers’] work across a number of new platforms.”

The Script Agreement for Television and Online covers work commissioned by the BBC and for commercial production arm BBC Studios, which is allowed to make shows for third parties.

The newly renegotiated agreement includes a 10 percent rise in minimum fees, seeing the minimum rate for a 60-minute show increase from £12,780 to £14,040. Series minimum rates will rise to £12,900 per 60 minutes, dramatizations to £9,360 per 60 minutes and adaptations to £5,760 per 60 minutes. BBC sketch writers will see a rise of four percent on minimum fees, taking the ‘per minute’ minimum rate to £123.

The WGGB has also negotiated increased residual payments, which was another major sticking point in last year’s US strike negotiations. The agreement includes provisions for “extract fees,” where a writer will be paid a fee of £200 per 30 seconds for ‘extracts’ of their work that are used in the likes of videogames or live events.

The agreement also includes a wide range of other protections for writers, including pension rights, repeat fees and an attendance allowance. Last year, it was revealed that Doctor Who, one of the UK’s biggest productions, dropped residuals for writers following the Disney+ collaboration, with writers receiving one lump sum for their work. It has not yet been confirmed if the new negotiation has changed this arrangement.

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said of the new agreement “In television, screenwriters’ work is now exploited in ways that we would never have imagined a decade or so ago, so it is important that our collective union agreements keep pace. Our negotiating team have worked long and hard to achieve that goal and to ensure that UK writers receive a sizable pay rise that they deserve during such challenging economic times for our creative sector”.

While it seems there’s still a lot of work to do in the long term, particularly when it comes to the use of AI, it’s at least pleasing to report some positive news for writers.

Lead picture credit: Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay.

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