Broadcast Text opted out of negotiations

24.5.2010

Collective agreement negotiations between AV translation agencies and freelance translators continued on Monday, 10 May.

Negotiations concerning three translation agencies have been cut to negotiations between two. This is because the largest agency, Broadcast Text International Oy (BT), considered the proposal in the negotiation on the rates of the Yhtyneet Agreement to be utopian and left the negotiations.

BT wondered how it was even possible to have these negotiations without the interference of competition laws. However, according to the translators’ view, AV translators working for the agencies are not genuinely entrepreneurs. Instead, the work is seen as having the characteristics of an employment relationship.

Since a mutual understanding concerning the terms of employment, and especially the rate of fees taken as a starting point for the negotiations, could not be reached, Broadcast Text has opted out of negotiations at this point. The other two negotiating companies, SDI Media and Pre-Text, stated with some reservations that they will accept the rates stated in the Yhtyneet Agreement as a base for the negotiations.

“It is very unfortunate that Broadcast Text was not willing to commit to the same starting point as the other firms. We hope that BT will return to the negotiation table so that we can stop cut-rate pricing in the AV translation business”, says Director of Translator Affairs, Petri Savolainen of the Union of Journalists in Finland.

The aim of the negotiations is to achieve fair labour conditions for the whole industry and to set a decent rate of fees for agency translators in order to put a stop to the drop in translation prices and plummeting fees.

Translators propose that the Yhtyneet Agreement be used as a starting point for the negotiations concerning minimum terms of employment. The Yhtyneet Agreement is currently being utilised at Finland’s national broadcasting company Yle and the commercial network MTV3.

The negotiations will continue with representatives from SDI Media and Pre-Text on 9 June. The Union of Journalists in Finland, Translation Industry Professionals KAJ, Akava Special Branches and The Finnish Association of Translators and Interpreters will be negotiating on behalf of the translators.