Bruce Anderson explains the 10 hour break agreement and gives a specific example of its impact


The agreement was you would normally have a 12-hour break between two turns of duty. If you had a modest amount of notice, that could be cut to a10-hour break between two turns of duty. If you didn’t get a 10-hour break, when you started work again on the next turn of duty, at whatever rate you started work at, you got double for the next 10 hours that you were working. So if, for instance, you finished work at two in the morning, and you didn’t get… if you had to be back at work by midday, say 11.30, that was not a 10-hour break. So that following turn of duty, all that turn of duty, was twice the rate at which you had finished. Now, again, part of the structure was, that once you got to midnight, if you were not scheduled to work regularly on nights, for each hour you work past midnight, your rate of pay went up by a single T. So at 3am you were getting 3T, 4am you were getting 4T. And that was to dissuade the employers – it all goes back to the old days of film, to dissuade the employers from making you keep working and working and working. I mean, it did work very well at Granada – nobody ever broke the 10-hour break; the management just didn’t risk it. …..

We were doing the by-election at Liverpool …..and that count went on into the early hours. And what I remember was we were due to finish at 2am, and that was all right because the following day at 12 o’clock we had to go and rig a football pitch or a church in Liverpool; because there was a by-election, Granada organised a church service there, or a football match, and ITN, who were waiting for the results, said, “We’ll pay the costs if it’s going to break the 10-hour agreement, don’t worry.” So we carried on working until 3am, 4am, it might have even been 5am virtually, by the time we got back to the hotel – so we finished work at 5T. Now, the following day, we went and rigged the football match, or the church, whatever, that turn of duty was six hours, so it was six hours at twice the rate at which we had finished – 10T. So we got 60 hours’ pay for that one afternoon – and ITN took the bill; to them it was pivotal to be there at the count.

.So the crew ended up with 60 hours pay! Now, the history of that, as I said, was to stop people, back in the early days of film production. You get a new director coming in and a crew in the film studio, would work like mad, and then a new director would come in and, whoa, work like mad again. Because it’s my film. It’s my film. And that was the basis of it, people had to have a reasonable amount of rest between turns of duty. So that was how that particular thing… but of course it went on and on and on, and they were due something like six or seven months’ pay for… and I think then that employers, even though I think TV-am were not on a day by day, hand in hand, basis with the ITV employers, there was just a point where they were saying, “This is enough – this cannot continue.’

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