UK Screen Association has accused Bectu of publishing misleading information as part of its campaign for better working practices for VFX workers.
Earlier this week, Bectu launched a working time charter as part of a campaign to address what it described as “deep-rooted concerns over working conditions”.
The trade union cited its recent survey of some 300 VFX staff which it said found “high levels of dissatisfaction” among VFX staff.
But facilities trade body UK Screen has hit out at the way the union presented findings from its survey, accusing Bectu of rewording the survey questions.
UK Screen chief executive Sarah Mackey said: “Although I understand that Bectu needs to grow its membership it should not do so at the expense of fairness and accuracy.
“This kind of messaging can be very damaging the UK film industry and the VFX sector.”
Mackey has asked the union to “withdraw and correct” its charter.
Bectu’s VFX charter calls for all overtime to be paid and voluntary and for statutory rights to daily and weekly rest to be met.
Update: Bectu organising official Gus Baker has defended the union’s survey.
He said: “UK Screen and VFX companies should focus on what matters: the welfare of their staff and giving them the support they need to produce great content.
“Instead of worrying about Bectu’s informal survey, we hope that UK Screen will conduct a full, independent inquiry into the work conditions that people in VFX face, especially the problem of long hours”.
Sarah Mackey’s letter to Bectu general secretary Gerry Morrissey:
Your 2013 VFX survey contains no identifier questions and was promoted and distributed via a global social media site.
As a result you can have no firm evidence as the source of your respondents, whether they are of UK or ex-UK origin, and whether they work in film, television, commercials, corporate or games VFX.
Despite this you present the data as if it relates to the UK sector and, more specifically, to film VFX houses.
In presenting your outputs the three original questions have been reworded, hence ‘Do you know VFX artists who have left the industry due to insecurity and/or workloads’ is reported as ‘77% of people know someone who has recently left the industry because they couldn’t keep up with the workloads, overtime and poor working conditions’.
‘Have you ever been pressured by managers or supervisors to work longer hours for free?’ is reported as ‘81% of people have felt pressured or bullied into working overtime for free on films’ and ‘How difficult do you think it is for people with children or caring responsibilities to make a successful career in VFX?’ is transposed into ‘83% of people said it was difficult or very difficult to raise a family while working in VFX’.