Higher minimum rates for BBC radio writers came into force from 1 August 2009. The increase is 1.4%, but because of its financial problems and cuts the BBC says it will not pay the increase to writers earning above the minimum.
The Guild’s Radio Drama Agreement, which covers scripted drama and comedy for Radio 4 and Radio 3, sees an increase in the basic rate per minute from £51.01 to £51.72. Most commissions are based on a special two-transmissions rate, which goes up from £85.02 to £86.21 per minute. Commissions are on the basis of the programme slot-length, not the exact number of minutes broadcast. There are lower “Beginners’ Rates” for writers who have had less than 95 minutes’ work transmitted.
The special rate for The Archers goes up from £863 to £875 per episode, but the rate for Silver Street is pegged at £422 because the episode length has been cut from 8 to 5 minutes. There are increases for short stories and abridgements but the attendance payment stays at £50. For Radio Features the per-minute rate goes from £40.65 to £41.22, with a new minimum of £288.54 (equal to seven minutes).
There are also increases for Radio Talks contributions.
Full details of the new rates are available for download from the Rates and Agreements section on the Guild website.
These increases do not apply to repeats on the digital service BBC Radio 7, which comes under a separate agreement that can also be found on the Guild website.