The National Maritime Museum is one of four sites overseen by RMG

Royal Museums Greenwich consults on redundancies

Geraldine Kendall, 01.10.2014
Institution needs save £800,000 next year
Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) is carrying out an organisational review that could see it shed approximately 25 posts next year.

The institution has had its budget cut by 5% to £15.73m for 2015/16 and has seen its grant-in-aid from government fall 30% since 2010. The cut means the museum will have to find savings of £800,000 in the next financial year.

RMG comprises four sites, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory, the Queen's House and the Cutty Sark, and employs an average of 491 full time equivalent posts, according to its annual report for 2013-14.

According to Prospect, the union representing RMG employees, staff have been given the opportunity to volunteer for redundancy or early retirement as part of a consultation that closed last week.

The museum said that, in addition to making redundancies, it would seek to make savings and efficiencies elsewhere and increase its income as part of the restructure.

A spokeswoman from RMG said: “Like other areas of government, Royal Museums Greenwich is having to review its activities in the light of the wider economic circumstances, and continuing reduction in government funding. Grant-in-aid has been reduced by 30% since 2010, including 5% cut already announced for 2015-16.

“While great progress has been made in recent years with increasing self-generated revenues there continues a need for efficiency and business focus, therefore the museum is currently carrying out an organisational review.

“It is anticipated that targeted savings of about £800,000 will be found not only through voluntary redundancies, early retirement and an organisational review but also through general efficiencies, savings in non-staff budgets and identification of opportunities for further increases in non-grant income.

“By taking action now the museum is better able to manage the pressure on future budgets. It is intended that the new structure will be implemented for the beginning of the financial year.”


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02.10.2014, 17:17
‘Anonymous’ (02.10.2014, 13:06) just may have hit the nail on the head.

The problem seems to be one that lies with the Director and all senior/trustee board members of RMG. Recognition of accountability at the top is crucial.

‘Anonymous’ (02.10.2014, 07:59) infers that bonuses to higher ranked officers have been paid again this year. These were also accepted the previous year, at a time when Directors of some other establishments refused such benefits. The annual report 2012-2013 lists Executive Remuneration from that period on page 33 -

In view of potential redundancies, maybe support of ‘payment by results’ for those at the highest level, is a rather worrying long-term trend.

All museums are suffering, of that there is little doubt. But in respect of RMG, perhaps other factors are in play. To point an accusing finger at the current financial climate, is frankly a diversional tactic too readily cited by many under-performing institutions.

Since moving to Greenwich in 2011, I have followed developments at the museum with great interest and it must be said, a degree of disappointment. I am now of the opinion that poor strategic, operational, HR and project management decisions have endangered the very reputational value of RMG. These observations are based on photographic, audio, screen grabs and other factual data I have gathered - a blog will follow in due course.

With fair regularity, I have made my thoughts known to RMG… even musing about 'The Great Map' - a digital project debacle, so embarrassing that administration and marketing departments shy away from divulging costs. For that matter, does anyone know how much the RMG charged Jaguar for its advertisement that saw The Queen’s House closed to the public for a whole day? You would be forgiven for thinking that may well have helped offset the £800K shortfall somewhat.

I believe there are significant rumblings below deck at RMG, who would do well to remember that when public money is involved, it is wise to make good decisions. Of course, they will seek to defend their position at all costs… with significant proceeds paid by the public.
08.10.2014, 18:16
I have moved in Greenwich in 2007 but I was following from before too. I agree with your comment below and although I do not have any data to support my comment. Quote '''''''''Since moving to Greenwich in 2011, I have followed developments at the museum with great interest and it must be said, a degree of disappointment. I am now of the opinion that poor strategic, operational, HR and project management decisions have endangered the very reputational value of RMG. These observations are based on photographic, audio, screen grabs and other factual data I have gathered - a blog will follow in due course.""" The issue is that most of the RMG work force as never actually worked to earn their money. They earn their money because they go there every day. Not because they managed to achieve or improve a bit more on the previous years. There are also expense that are always under looked but are often caused by bed oragizzation and bed planning therefore incapables managers o directors. I feel the trustee are doing all they can very vigorusly to steer RMG in the right direction but like all the big vessel it takes a bit time. Blamming the economic climate is an excuse that many use. The question is: Is RMG using their experts especially marketing & sales and operational force at their best? Would they consider to trial for one year a % of turnover commission paid by result on a weekly basis. Saving cost is also important but you can only save so much before it becomes a negative solutions.
10.10.2014, 01:29
The problem lies with the director totally. They are taking these "Budget Cuts" asking for voluntary redundancy. Asking a lot off their staff. How about they decide to take a cut at the top? Take a cut what the Chair Board are being paid. What the director is being paid? Spread that cost across their staff. Happy staff makes a happy museum. Instead of taking the cuts and building more and more, spending money, that won't reflect back on the staff. Idiocy.
02.10.2014, 07:59
No mention here of the 35k bonuses that some senior management received this year! They are only saving money on getting rid core staff and replacing them with volunteers.
10.10.2014, 01:35
Why on earth are they giving bonuses to the directors? Are they in the front line every day???
08.10.2014, 17:58
Bonus are good and they should be given and taken if earned. It is true that few organisations are abusing the volunteers. I personally worked from a very young age approx 9 years old, you could say I was a volunteer but I had and was given clear target by which once achieved I could be offered a full time placement and I did.They have forgotten that to learn a job a volunteers should work and observe an individual that actually is a full time staff. If volunteers are simply replaced for core staff to carry on task they are broadly an invisible slave force created that does not lead to anything.
01.10.2014, 16:46
I had a client that was interested in having a large event possibly 2 at Cutty Sark but the RMG [deleted by moderator] decided not to accept my business simply because my partner works in the same department were I was directing business.

Do you think they are doing their best to increase turnover and profit?

Times have became demanding, I would suggest to introduce incentive/commissions for all the sales and turnover generating jobs and most important streamline the administrator that just create unnecessary work.

Which means staff get paid for what they achieve on a daily basis not for going every day to seat in the office.

“Because time is a precious commodity we make every moment magnificent"

Vito Marino

MA Member
02.10.2014, 13:06
I don't think you can implement a system of 'pay employees for their achievements' in a setting like the one we as an industry work in.

It is hardly fair to evaluate the efforts of staff in one department against another- or event across a single department. There are definitely places where work could easily be streamlined, but there are many jobs within this sector that prove hard to evaluate their true contribution to the museum. Many jobs are essential to the running of places such as this, and are often overlooked when considering achivement because they keep things ticking over, rather than making a huge splash in increasing profit and so forth. This is then not because they aren't working just as hard as people within other departments, it is because their job is not to make a splash but to be the thing that keeps everything afloat! And how on earth do you measure that?
08.10.2014, 17:49
I am not an expert and I am nobody to judge. I speak by experience and I have earned all the way up to £100k per year with a basic salary of £45.00 per day plus %related of turnover incentive/bonus. Most jobs are and have reasonable criteria by which can be monitored and assessed, evaluated by achievement. Using a simple quantifiable mathematical base reference. I am happy to propose you ideas if you can not see them. For example a good HR department with preventive and proactive attitude would try keep and reward employe that have learned the business and therefore are more efficient contributing to the business growth and stability for the long term. Instead to let staff live after money is been lost : for time to recruit, invested for their development, time as been invested for their training and by fellow staffs and manager which most poor leader do not know how to measure it. Most HR department they simply state that staff moves on because they found something better or because they are looking for a new challenge. I disagree most staff leaves after the first or second year because the leader are not capable including a poor HR department of looking at the bigger picture. Everyone is usefull in an organizzazion but nobody is indispensable. The top leaders if they felt that they under achieved and this is measurable in numbers they should not take the bonus as they have not earned it. But the key is to control wages while creating incentive and ultimately turnover and profit. You will be surprised. The point is to work hard and cleverly. Those positions that can be incentives should be incentives because they will bring more for the benefit of the all organisation and individuals. The only real thing that keep everything afloat is money or political interest. I would be delighted to support you with this.