Musicians’ Union Announces ‘Milestone’ Recording and Broadcasting Agreements With the BBC, Sky, and Others

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Photo Credit: K. Mitch Hodge

London’s Musicians’ Union has announced the completion of a “significant round” of collective bargaining negotiations with the BBC, Sky, and others, which it says will deliver “meaningful pay increases” to its approximately 32,000 members in the approaching years.

The 130-year-old organization unveiled the recording and broadcasting agreements – inked specifically with the BBC, ITV, Sky, the Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television (PACT), and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) – via a formal release today. According to the Musicians’ Union, the three-year BBC tie-up will deliver a 7.5 percent rate boost in 2023 and additional 2.3 percent raises in 2024 and 2025.

Meanwhile, the Sky pact consists of a half-decade blanket license concerning the “dubbing of commercial audio into Sky productions,” and the deal will begin at £30,000 in 2023 before rising to £50,000 in 2026. The ITV agreement, for its part, is expected to usher in an 11.5 percent jump during the coming two years.

On the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising side, the Musicians’ Union pointed to a three-year contract encompassing “an increase of 12% over that period,” besides a different three-year deal with the Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television.

The latter will incorporate “a new approach to terms for multi-episodic television drama,” according to the Musicians’ Union, which touched upon “several new options designed to work equally well across both terrestrial and streaming platforms.”

Finally, the PACT union further includes a “separate low budget rate,” which has been “introduced alongside the repositioning of Combined Use Scales 3 and 4.” The Musicians’ Union indicated that the arrangement was developed “to create fairer remuneration for musicians, particularly those working across a significant number of session hours.”

Addressing the announcement in a statement, Musicians’ Union sessions official Sam Jordan communicated: “We are pleased to conclude these negotiations in which we have seen some positive results on pay increases for musicians.

“With the help of our members, rates have successfully been increased whilst providing more options and opportunity for recordings to take place in the UK. Thank you to those that consulted with us on these negotiations and voted in the ballots,” finished the over seven-year MU team member.

And in remarks of his own, MU national organizer for recording and broadcasting Geoff Ellerby acknowledged that the talks had been “protracted” due to the less-than-ideal state of the economy – while also highlighting an enhanced focus on assuring that “work remains in the UK.”

“Negotiations with all parties were in most cases protracted due to the current economic situation,” relayed the longtime producer and roughly five-year Musicians’ Union higher-up Ellerby. “All agreements have been thoroughly reviewed and adjusted to ensure they meet current needs, not only to ensure musicians receive fair pay increases, but taking a more prudent view to ensure work remains in the UK, and that our musicians continue to lead the world by their excellence and flexibility.”