Change to unsafe working hours in Commercials

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The existing APA agreement is failing to protect the safety of the freelance workforce upon which it relies, through the normalising of excessive and unsustainable hours.

Unreasonably long shooting days, paid for with the health, safely and welfare of crew, are entirely contrary to the BECTU commitment to promote “work that enables people to live fulfilled and healthy lives, unharmed by workplace risks, is good for them and their families and promotes health equality.”

Clearly 16, 18 or even 20-hour scheduled days are incompatible with being able to return home from work in good health and without injury. We have all lost colleagues and friends in traffic and other accidents, simply due to exhaustion.

As freelancers we are not able to choose when we work and generally cannot afford to decide not to work. As such it is paramount that the working hours that are expected are reasonable, safe and sustainable. This benefits productions as well as the people working on them.

The new terms suggested below are therefore designed to make dangerously long hours prohibitively expensive and shorter shooting days LESS expensive to a production:

1) return to the Basic Daily Rate based on a pro-rata 8 hour shooting day

2) Continuous Working Day based on a 7 hour shooting day

3) First two hours of OT at double hourly rate

4) Next four hours of OT at triple hourly rate

5) Any day going beyond 14 hrs billed as another day on top of the above

6) Saturdays at 1.5x the above

7) Sundays at 2x the above

This is not an attempt to negotiate more money for crew but to end the increasingly common and dangerous practice of squeezing two shooting days into one, purely for financial gain.

By removing the incentive to shoot excessively long days, we can save lives.

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