'Brookside' directors in a lather over 'miserly' pay
Wednesday 28 February 1996
A real-life drama is brewing at the television soap Brookside. Far from the everyday diet of murder and lesbian affairs, this plot is decidedly down-to-earth: the directors are up in arms about "miserly" rates of pay.
The freelance directors employed by Phil Redmond's Mersey Television Company have long been unhappy about the pay of pounds 650 to pounds 700 a week, particularly as they must fund board and lodging - in houses on the set - and travel to Liverpool from their own pockets.
Rifts appeared on set two weeks ago, however, when the six directors discovered that Brookside technicians were being paid almost double their rates. Freelance lighting cameramen admitted that they were paid pounds 1,075 a week plus pounds 150 for accommodation, while lowly boom swingers were on pounds 875 plus pounds 150. Both also received travel costs.
Worse, the directors have found they are also paid much less than their counterparts on Hollyoaks, the new teen soap from the same company, and And the Beat Goes On, which have driven up technicians' fees by poaching Brookside staff.
The insult is compounded by comparison to other soaps. Freelance directors on Coronation Street earn pounds 1,100 a week, plus expenses of about pounds 150 a week. EastEnders directors get pounds 700 to pounds 900 a week plus repeat fees and residuals which can be more than pounds 200 a week.
The Brookside directors have turned to their union, the Directors Guild of Great Britain, after extensive complaints resulted in a "derisory" offer of pounds 75 extra per six-week cycle.
Last week the DGGB contacted Phil Redmond, the creator and executive producer of Brookside, warning the fees amounted to "exploitation".Piers Haggard, co-chair of the recorded media committee, wrote that their pounds 650 to pounds 700 a week equated to pounds 500 to pounds 550 taking into account the cost of travel and board. "Only a director with a home in Merseyside (and how many of these are there?) comes away with a living wage from this arrangement," he said.
The union is now taking the matter to top management at Channel 4 after failing to gain any concessions. An insider on the set said the directors had been horrified to discover how much less they were paid than their crew. "It is very insulting."
An MTC spokesman said:"The current position reflects the changing employment market in television and also the difference between short term and long term contracts."
- 1 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 4 Ebola virus: UK health officials issue warning to doctors as experts admit the outbreak 'is not under control'
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
MH17 crash: Black boxes show plane suffered 'massive explosive decompression' following shrapnel hit
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...
£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...