Staff plan walk out at National Gallery in London

Staff at a world famous venue are set to strike next month. The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said its members at the art gallery, in Trafalgar Square, London, voted for walkouts by more than nine to one. Around half the gallery’s 600 staff were eligible to take part in the ballot Union (PCS), with a 62 per cent turnout of members ...
National Gallery in London

Staff at a world famous venue are set to strike next month.

The  Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) said its members at the art gallery, in Trafalgar Square, London, voted for walkouts by more than nine to one.

Around half the gallery’s 600 staff were eligible to take part in the ballot Union (PCS), with a 62 per cent turnout of members voting 94 per cent in favour.

The union says gallery bosses want to privatise almost all staff, including those who look after corporate events at the venue.

A spokesman for the PCS said: “They have also reneged on a promise to introduce the London living wage, meaning the institution is the only major museum or gallery in the capital that does not pay it.”

A spokeswoman for the National Gallery said that event organisers are being encouraged to check the website for updates but the expectation is that the National Gallery will remain open throughout

She said: “The PCS union leadership opposed the change and, despite five months of dialogue, we were not able to meet an agreement. During these discussions, the National Gallery proposed not only to meet the London Living Wage but to pay a basic salary in excess of it.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "With this vote, staff are telling their managers loudly and clearly they do not want to work for a private security firm, they want to carry on working for the National Gallery.” 

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Source: www.conference-news.co.uk