Following an unprecedented year for the UK’s film and TV sector, with continued uncertainty facing the television workforce, the RTS is delighted to host a special keynote address by Head of Bectu Philippa Childs.
As many freelancers in the television industry consider leaving the industry in the face of precarious employment prospects, Philippa will share her reflections on the ‘perfect storm’ of events that led to the industry’s abrupt standstill in 2023 and address what the UK’s primary union for non-performing entertainment industry workers is doing to encourage a healthier, more sustainable future for nearly 40,000+ members.
Phillipa will consider what improved support mechanisms for freelancers could look like, and present the need for an industry-led strategy to meaningfully tackle the sector’s pressing challenges. She will also reflect on the sector’s ongoing challenges in addressing bullying and harassment and how unions can help drive progress in ensuring the sector is a mentally healthy place to work.
Following the keynote, there will be a Q&A session with Max Goldbart, International TV Editor at Deadline, and an opportunity for RTS members and guests to ask their own questions.
Philippa Childs is the Head of Bectu, the UK’s union for the creative industries. She is the first woman to hold the position of Head of Bectu, a role she took on shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic brought much of the creative industries to a sudden halt and created unprecedented challenges for the sector’s workers.
This was closely followed by the almost total shutdown of the UK’s film and TV industry in 2023, following historical industrial action in the United States, during which Childs continued to advocate for increased support and improved rights for freelancers.
Childs oversees Bectu’s five divisions, covering broadcasting, film and TV production, and arts and entertainment – championing the rights of nearly 40,000 staff and freelance workers across the creative industries.
As the largest union at the BBC and with a strong presence in many of the UK’s leading theatres, arts centres and independent broadcasting and production companies, Bectu is uniquely placed to secure workplace fairness and equality on behalf of its members.
Childs has spent much of her career in trade unions, with previous tenures at the National Union of Civil and Public Servants (now PCS), the Trades Union Congress National Education Centre and EMA, now part of Bectu’s parent union Prospect.
Tickets for RTS members are free but must be booked in advance (please input your membership number when booking). If you do not know your membership number, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets for non-members are £10.
Tickets are non-refundable.