medicine and money

Better medicine for ‘Doctors’ writers

Experienced writers on the daytime soap Doctors will get higher pay because of a deal between WGGB and the BBC.

When the show started 15 years ago it was regarded partly as a training ground for new writers, and minimum fees were set 15% below the normal BBC rates. But since then about half the show’s writers have become well-established on the series, with some clocking up over 70 episodes each.

As Doctors can no longer be described as a training or ‘starter’ show, WGGB has put pressure on the BBC to drop the ‘discount’ for such experienced writers, and this has been partly achieved by the new deal.

After their first four episodes, writers will go on to a new rate of £4,385 – a slight increase from the previous £4,360.50. But for writers who have reached 41 episodes or more there will be a higher new rate of £4,600.41.

The new rates will work alongside the Multi-Episode Bonus Scheme (MEBS), negotiated earlier this year, which pays an extra 15% per episode to any writer who has three or more episodes in any one series (Casualty and Holby City writers are also eligible for MEBS).

WGGB General Secretary Bernie Corbett said: “These increased rates are not going to change anyone’s life, and we regard them only as a step on the way to fairer pay for Doctors writers. In the current financial climate it is a long and difficult process to negotiate increases with the BBC, but we have already warned them that we are not satisfied and will be returning to this issue again in the future.”

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