Staff walkouts threaten disruption at museums
Industrial action this week is part of a three month campaign culminating in a national walkout at the end of June
Museums, galleries and tourist attractions nationwide could be subject to part closures over the next few days as union workers strike in a row over pay, working conditions and pensions.
As the busy half-term week continues, hundreds of staff at the National Gallery and Tate galleries in London will walkout on Thursday, which could result in some part-closures, while Tate Liverpool has announced it will close for the day.
On Friday, staff at the Natural History, Science and Victoria and Albert museums in London, as well as workers at National Museums Liverpool, a group of seven free museums, will refuse to work along with staff from a range of government departments. On Sunday, union members at English Heritage sites, including Stonehenge, will strike.
This week’s industrial action, by members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union which has some 250,000 members nationally, is part of a three month campaign culminating in a national walkout at the end of June.
"These strikes highlight the huge gap between the valuable work our members do and the contempt being shown to them by ministers who are imposing cuts and refusing to even talk to us,” PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said. “Both in our cultural attractions that are known and loved around the world, and across the civil service, the government urgently needs to invest to improve services to the public and to help our economy to grow."
A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “It is disappointing that yet again the PCS insist on pushing for futile action which benefits no one, and damages the services they deliver to the public.
"The Government took the tough decision to freeze public sector pay for two years, while protecting those earning under £21,000 by increasing their pay by at least £250 per year. Pay restraint has helped to protect jobs in the public sector and support high quality public services.”
Who is striking and when?
Thursday's strikes will include: National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery; Tate galleries in London and Liverpool; Department for Culture, Media and Sport headquarters; and Imperial War Museum.
Friday's will include: Natural History, Science, Victoria and Albert, and British museums in London; National Museums Liverpool (from 1pm to 1pm on Saturday); Department for Transport and its agencies, including the Driving Standards Agency and DVLA; Land Registry; Business, Innovation and Skills; Department for Energy and Climate Change; and research councils.
Strikers and supporters will form a human chain around the Museum of Liverpool, Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DG, from 2.30pm on Friday to represent a defence of culture and the arts from government cuts.
Employees at English Heritage sites, including Stonehenge, will take action on Sunday.
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz 'sought treatment for eyesight problems'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Yemen crisis: Saudi Arabia ready for long campaign against Houthi rebels across the border
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...