Writers On BBC Shows To Get 10% Pay Rise & Improved Residuals

TV

Writers on BBC shows have landed themselves a 10% pay increase and improved residuals following updates to the agreement between the Writers Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) and UK’s biggest public broadcaster.

Revealed in the past few minutes, 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% rise in minimum fees, seeing the minimum rate for a 60-minute show increase from £12,780 ($16,132) 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 4% on minimum fees, taking the ‘per minute’ minimum rate to £123.

The WGGB has also negotiated increased residuals – a major sticking point in last year’s U.S. 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 video games or live events.

Residuals, which became a cornerstone of the WGA negotiations with the AMPTP in the U.S. last year, are already in place for when BBC shows are repeated across some platforms. Doctor Who, however, recently shifted away from a residual model for its writers since Disney+ came on board as partner, we revealed last year.

The agreement also enshrines a wide range of other protections for writers, including pension rights, repeat fees and an attendance allowance. The agreement was first negotiated between the WGGB and Personal Managers’ Association, which represents writers’ agents, in 2017.

“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,” said WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers.

“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.”

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