Trade Union BECTU (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematography and Telecoms) is inviting game industry staff to have their say about working conditions in the UK video games industry via a new survey that will be used to report to the UK all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on video games. “We have been asked to talk to MPs about the games industry and so we want to know what is good and what is bad about the industry you work in and the employers that you work for,” BECTU said.
“We want to find out about your working hours and your opportunities to get on at work,” the survey states. “We are also keen to know how welcoming is the industry from people of different backgrounds (e.g. gender, race, sex and sexuality, disability, education etc.) We would like to know what is good about working in your industry but also if you would like to change anything about the culture of the industry and/or your employer and workplace.”
Promising to keep results anonymised and confirming all questions are optional, BECTU said the final results will be shared “with our members who work in the games industry”. Key messages from this work will then be turned into a report for the APPG on video games.
“We will make recommendations to them that can help games workers get solutions to the important issues,” BECTU said.
“The video games industry can be a hugely exciting place to work, providing great jobs to thousands of people in the UK. But we know there are also challenges that people face in their working lives, whether to do with stress, pay, long hours, or harassment where workers need to have their voice heard,” Philippa Childs, head of Bectu, told MCV. “As the leading trade union for specialists in the entertainment industry, games workers have been turning to Bectu help provide that independent, expert voice at work.
“We want to hear from as many games workers as possible so we can give MPs an accurate picture of the industry and can provide the best possible to support to our current and future members in the industry.”
To “help make the games industry a great place to work”, complete the survey here.
“We cover all the people behind the scenes in the sector, from the BBC camera crew to the stage hands in the West End,” organising official Naomi Taylor told MCV back in December. “We already have members who are software developers in other areas, and gaming, whether freelance or permanently employed, would find a natural fit with BECTU, [which] has some members from the games industry currently.” However, the union hasn’t seen a lot of interest from the games industry to date.”
“BECTU has explored unionising the games industry in the past, but the will from the industry at the time didn’t seem to be there,” Taylor continues. “From an outside perspective, it seems that the industry is getting a little older and realising that they don’t want to work the long hours they did when they first started. People want a better work-life balance.”