Writers' Guild AGM will be on Friday 14 June
This is the time of year for Writers’ Guild members to think about motions to change the policies or rules of the union, or to put themselves forward as officers or members of the Executive Council.
There is a record number of EC vacancies to be filled this summer, both for national/regional seats and craft sector representatives, so we are hoping to see plenty of new blood coming forward. Please consider seriously whether you could contribute to the Guild in this way.
Details of the vacancies, application forms and instructions for proposing motions can be downloaded below. If you would prefer to have paper copies please contact the Guild office.
The closing date for the receipt of Officer and EC nominations is Thursday 9 May 2013 and the closing date for the receipt of AGM motions is Tuesday 14 May 2013.
The Annual General Meeting of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain will take place in London on Friday 14 June 2013. The full details are in the Notice of Meeting and Preliminary Agenda, which can also be downloaded from our website. The Final Agenda, Annual Report and Accounts will be made available shortly before the AGM, in accordance with the rules of the Guild.
The Writers' Guild has negotiated increases in the minimum fees paid to writers under our collective agreements with BBC TV and radio.
Minimum fees for TV writers have been increased by 1%, in line with the most recent increase in BBC staff salaries. Taking effect from 1 January 2013, this brings the key rate for original teleplays to £10,800 per hour and for series/serials to£9,840.
For radio writers there is also an increase of 1%, effective from 24th January 2013, and in addition the public service fee has also been increased by 2.5% from 10% to 12.5% for all contracts. For writers of archive material repeated on Radio 4 Extra, our agreement has been extended for a further five years, with the key rate for original drama increased to £3.24 per minute and these fees will be increased annually in line with RPI, subject to a cap of 3%.
Full details of the new rates can be downloaded from the Rates and Agreements section. These agreements have been reached in co-operation with the Guild's negotiating partners the Personal Managers' Association and (for radio only) the Society of Authors.
A briefing from the Writers' Guild written for the Performers' Alliance Parliamentary lobby earlier this week.
The creative professions are regarded by some as passions that we are privileged to follow. But those who produce and exploit our work know that acting, music, and writing are crafts, without which they would have no product.
Too often writers, the most invisible participants, are expected to work for not just low pay, but no pay. The Writers’ Guild wants to highlight that this affects not only the young, starting out in their careers, but established writers in their 40s and 50s. Would MPs, lawyers, doctors, teachers, and police officers work for free because they believe passionately in their job? No? Then Let’s Get Paid!
What is happening?
The Writers’ Guild negotiates collective minimum agreements with theatre producers, television and radio broadcasters and independent production companies. However, these only cover writers under contract, who have received a formal commission. In recent years, we have seen a growing trend towards writers being asked to contribute substantial amounts of unpaid work – detailed pitches, treatments, storylines, sketches, research material, even full-length scripts – merely to compete for the chance of a commission or place on an exclusive “training” scheme for an established TV programme.
Writers expect to undertake speculative work on their own projects, which they may sell on the open market. But work done to the brief of others, which can involve months of thought and labour, is a job, which should be justly remunerated.
The Writers’ Guild would like to register deep concern at the exclusion of the arts as qualifying subjects in current proposals for the English Baccalaureate. While recognising the importance of certain subjects – such as English, maths and science - we believe that core recognition of cultural and artistic subjects, both appreciation and practice, is also a vital component of a rounded education.
In addition the UK’s education system needs to recognise that culture, the arts and education do in fact contribute greatly to the economy. The creative industries provide six per cent of Britain’s GDP, £16 billion in exports, and employ at least 2 million people.
In particular, the Guild is concerned about:
- The lack of any prior consultation with teachers, students, parents or creative writers before EBacc was brought in
- The disincentivisation of schools to offer arts subjects, through the retrospective recalculation of the school league tables according to EBacc subjects
- The particular impact of EBacc on the teaching of drama, and the knock-on effect this will have on plays, playwriting and performances in schools.
By Rupert Creed
The Writers Foundation (UK) is a new company and registered charity established by the Writers’ Guild. Its aims are to promote the craft of writing across all disciplines, to advance writer education & training, and to offer welfare support for the writing community.
The Writers Foundation (UK) has secured seed funding via donations from The Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC) and is now open to applications for events and programmes of work from Guild and non-Guild members alike.