At the BECTU National Conference over the weekend, the Visual Effects Branch was honoured with the Roger Bolton Memorial Award. It’s basically the unions “branch of the year” award and it was presented to members of the committee at the conference in recognition of our record breaking recruitment over the last year and our recognition campaigns at MPC and Framestore!
Come along to our Thursday VFX Lunchmeet today from 1-2pm at Jurassic Church (St. Anne’s, Wardour Street – nr. Shatesbury Avenue) so we can give each other high fives and pats on the back! Grab a sandwich or some sushi, sit on the grass, soak up a little sunshine and chat about what’s happening in the world of London VFX!
The Jurassic Church
(St. Anne’s, Wardour Street – nr. Shaftesbury Avenue)
With London weather, you’ve gotta be prepared to grab some sunshine at a moments notice! Spring seems to be finally here and the weather is gorgeous, so we’re moving the Thursday Lunchmeet back to the courtyard at St. Anne’s Church on Wardour Street (a.k.a. The Jurassic Church)!
1:00-2:00 Thursday at The Jurassic Church
(St. Anne’s, Wardour Street, nr. Shaftesbury Ave.)
Grab a sandwich or some sushi, sit on the grass, soak up a little sunshine and chat about what’s happening in the world of London VFX! Come along and tell us what you think about your experiences with the HourlyRateCalculator! It’s going to be a beautiful day, and I’m promised the T-Rex will behave itself and stay in the enclosure the entire time.
1:00-2:00pm Thursday at
The Jurassic Church
(St. Anne’s, Wardour Street)
We are going to be here this Thursday and every Thursday to help connect and motivate people who work in London visual effects!
See you there! Bring along a friend! Make new friends! The VFX Union can only work for you when you get involved!
UPDATED! Now works in Nuke, Maya, Houdini and anything that uses Python!
Is unpaid overtime driving down your hourly rate below the Living Wage?
One of the problems with unpaid overtime in the visual effects industry is that although we frequently work an extra hour or two (or six!), very few of us stop and think about the effect on our wages. It never occurs to most people that an extra 2 hours in the evening effectively means being paid 20% less per hour!
For example, if someone is on an annual salary of £20K and they are working 40 hours per week, that works out to £9.62 per hour. This is OK. This VFX employee is earning just above the London Living Wage for the hours they put in at work.
But what if that same person on £20K ends up working an extra 20 hours of unpaid overtime one week? At this point, they are not only making well below the London Living Wage at £6.41 per hour, but now they are earning below the National Living Wage and that is actually illegal.
BECTU campaigns for every worker in the UK’s profitable Film and TV industries to be paid the London Living Wage (£9.40 per hour) as an absolute minimum and if people are being paid less than that because of unpaid overtime, we’d like to know about it.
It is illegal for you to be earning less than the National Living Wage which is currently £7.20 for people aged 25 and over or £6.70 for people aged 21-24. If you are earning less than this, then please let BECTU know. BECTU can help to take legal steps to ensure that employees are earning at least the National Living Wage and we will do it without identifying you personally.
So now for the fun bit…
Would you like a quick and easy way to calculate what you’re making per hour after factoring in unpaid overtime? We’ve knocked together a little Nuke script which will make calculating your hourly rate easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Download the text for our HourlyRateCalculator and copy/paste it in to your Nuke script. It will look like this:
Simply enter your annual salary and the hours you work per week
Load it in to the Viewer to see your calculated hourly rate.
There you go! I hope you all find this little Nuke script useful and illuminating. Play around with it. Try out different values for your salary and hours and see what comes out. The HourlyRateCalculator can be a valuable tool for people at all levels of experience and pay grades. Maybe that extra £2K they’re offering you to promote you to Lead on the next show is not going to be all that great once you factor in all the free overtime the facility will be expecting!
Please feel free to share this script with anyone and everyone in VFX. Go ahead and install it in your Nuke Plug Ins so you can check your hours any time you need to!
Update 1! Now available to download as a .nk file from Nukepedia!
No – that would be illegal. UK law is crystal clear on this – no company can dismiss or discriminate against you for joining a union or taking part in it. As a member of BECTU, you get access to legal advice and representation. If a company tried to discriminate against you for being a member, we’d take them to an employment tribunal on your behalf and fight for your rights. We always protect our members.BECTU membership is also entirely confidential – the only people who know that you’re a member are the people you tell yourself. Many of our members are very open to their employers and each other about their membership, but if you’d rather keep your support private, then you don’t have to tell anyone.