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UK museums workers join public sector strike

Thousands of UK museum and heritage workers have joined industrial action protesting against low pay and other working conditions.




Museum workers have joined industrial action protesting low pay and other working conditions   Credit: PCS Culture Group

Museum and heritage workers are among the thousands of UK civil servants walking out of their jobs today (March 15), in protest against low pay and other working conditions.

The walkouts, which coincide with the UK government’s spring budget, come following disputes with the UK government over pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union estimates that approximately 133,000 of its members across 132 government departments will be part of the protests after voting for industrial action.

“Our members have been offered just a 2% pay rise at a time when inflation is around 10%,” said PCS.

Members of Prospect, a union that represents workers in sectors such as heritage, agriculture and defence, also voted in favour of industrial action, bringing the number of strikers up to approximately 150,000.

“Our members in the public sector have seen their incomes decline by up to 26% over the past 13 years and their work taken for granted – they have had enough,” said Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy.

“Poor pay and declining morale represent an existential threat to the civil service’s ability to function, and to our ability to regulate and deliver on the government’s priorities. Bills are rocketing and pay is falling ever further behind the private sector leaving our members with no option but to take industrial action.”

Industrial action is taking place across the UK, with picket lines in place outside a number of museums including the British Museum in London, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the World Museum Liverpool.

It comes after strike action in February that saw British Museum staff walk out forcing the museum to close for three days and issue thousands of pounds in refunds. Several other institutions, including National Museums Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Wallace Collection and National Museums Liverpool were able to remain open but were forced to operate with a skeleton service.

“Museum, library, gallery staff and civil servants in the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are going on strike across the culture sector after a decade of pay freezes, funding cuts and endless precarious work,” Gareth Spencer, president of the PCS Culture Group told Museums Journal.

“This Tory government is content to exploit our members and their institutions as pawns in their conflated culture wars but are not prepared to raise pay above inflation. We say enough is enough. We want a fair pay deal for all our members across the sector.”


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UK museums workers join public sector strike | Planet Attractions
news

UK museums workers join public sector strike

Thousands of UK museum and heritage workers have joined industrial action protesting against low pay and other working conditions.




Museum workers have joined industrial action protesting low pay and other working conditions   Credit: PCS Culture Group

Museum and heritage workers are among the thousands of UK civil servants walking out of their jobs today (March 15), in protest against low pay and other working conditions.

The walkouts, which coincide with the UK government’s spring budget, come following disputes with the UK government over pay, pensions, job security and redundancy terms.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union estimates that approximately 133,000 of its members across 132 government departments will be part of the protests after voting for industrial action.

“Our members have been offered just a 2% pay rise at a time when inflation is around 10%,” said PCS.

Members of Prospect, a union that represents workers in sectors such as heritage, agriculture and defence, also voted in favour of industrial action, bringing the number of strikers up to approximately 150,000.

“Our members in the public sector have seen their incomes decline by up to 26% over the past 13 years and their work taken for granted – they have had enough,” said Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy.

“Poor pay and declining morale represent an existential threat to the civil service’s ability to function, and to our ability to regulate and deliver on the government’s priorities. Bills are rocketing and pay is falling ever further behind the private sector leaving our members with no option but to take industrial action.”

Industrial action is taking place across the UK, with picket lines in place outside a number of museums including the British Museum in London, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the World Museum Liverpool.

It comes after strike action in February that saw British Museum staff walk out forcing the museum to close for three days and issue thousands of pounds in refunds. Several other institutions, including National Museums Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Wallace Collection and National Museums Liverpool were able to remain open but were forced to operate with a skeleton service.

“Museum, library, gallery staff and civil servants in the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are going on strike across the culture sector after a decade of pay freezes, funding cuts and endless precarious work,” Gareth Spencer, president of the PCS Culture Group told Museums Journal.

“This Tory government is content to exploit our members and their institutions as pawns in their conflated culture wars but are not prepared to raise pay above inflation. We say enough is enough. We want a fair pay deal for all our members across the sector.”


 



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