Strikers outside National Museum Wales in Cardiff

Summer strikes planned at NMW

Rebecca Atkinson, 13.08.2014
Weekend walkouts over cuts to pay
Staff at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales (NMW) sites walked out at the weekend in the first of a series of strikes planned throughout August.

The strike action is part on an ongoing dispute over cuts to premium payments for staff who work weekends. NMW also wants to remove the pensionable element of these payments.

Three sites – Big Pit in Blaenavon, Drefach Wool Museum and the Welsh Slate Museum in Llanberis – will close as a result of strikes every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 1pm this month.

National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff and the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea will remain open with reduced services. The National Roman Legion Museum will remain fully open.

Cuts to premium payments, which were first proposed in March, will result in staff who work weekends losing up to £3,000 of their annual salaries and 10% of their final pension entitlement, according to PCS.

“Museum staff wages have already gone down by 15% in real terms over the past four years,” the union said in a statement. “The staff affected include visitor services assistants who welcome more than 1.5 million visitors per year, providing information and protecting the national collections of the museums. It also affects cleaners, who are the lowest paid staff at the museums."

A spokeswoman for NMW said : “We have been and are continuing to consult with staff, trade unions and other partners on a number of proposals regarding these allowances.

“At the request of the unions, final decisions have been deferred pending the progress of other concurrent reviews. We are therefore naturally very disappointed with the planned action and apologise to our visitors for any inconvenience caused.

“Like many other public sector organisations, we have to make difficult decisions during these challenging economic times. Yet, we remain committed to mitigating the impact on staff through increasing the basic pay for the lowest paid by at least 2%, introducing the living wage and are considering ways to protect the payment of pensions.”


Comments

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Anonymous
MA Member
13.08.2014, 16:25
Will more senior staff be losing any of their annual salaries? That might be a bit fairer, at least. It seems quite wrong and quite contrary to equality and social justice to be only cutting the pay of the lowest paid, if that is the case.