Museum strikes over as union workers vote to accept pay deal

The Maritime Museum
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Teebay/Liverpool Echo)

Long running industrial action by museum and gallery workers has been brought to an end after workers accepted an improved pay offer.

After a six month battle, Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union members at National Museums Liverpool have voted to accept a deal. Earlier this year, more than 100 staff from NML sites began a walkout over a dispute regarding a cost-of-living payment.

Pickets have been a regular fixture outside the World Museum and Museum of Liverpool following a ballot of union members in January.

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It was announced in April how it had been expected industrial action would continue into the summer after no progress had been made to break the impasse over pay. The PCS Union launched a campaign last year to secure a one-off payment of £1,500 for staff within the civil service pay remit to support them financially amid the cost of living crisis.

Museum bosses said staff were not eligible as they were not civil servants. An offer of a one-off payment of £250, to be issued on a pro-rata basis, an additional two days leave, and a commitment to providing free tea and coffee to be made available in all staff rooms, was rejected in April.

On Sunday, PCS Union members voted to accept an offer of a one-off £1,200 cost-of-living payment, two extra days’ holiday a year and a 35% discount in museum cafes. This will now bring to a close 60 days of industrial action.

Fran Heathcote, PCS general secretary said: “Congratulations to our members at NML who through their strength and determination have won this dispute. They stood firm through many months of strike action and have now been rewarded with a significant sum and extra benefits.

“As always, PCS will stand by our members when they’re fighting for better pay, terms and conditions. This victory shows there is power in a union.”

National Museums Liverpool was established formally in 1986 to manage the various locations throughout the city that collate priceless artefacts. These include the Museum of Liverpool, the Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum and Lady Lever Art Gallery.

The Walker Art Gallery, Sudley House and World Museum are also managed by NML.

The ECHO contacted National Museums Liverpool for comment.

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