National Gallery staff plan strike action over privatisation plan

National Gallery, London Photo: Mike Peel

Staff at the National Gallery in London are to stage a five-day strike, from 3 to 7 February, after the institution announced its plan to privatise some of its visitor services, reports BBC News. The Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) representing the 250 workers involved in the strike vote are also opposing the gallery’s reneging on a promise to introduce the London living wage, a measure that the PCS say has been adopted by all the other major museums and galleries in the capital.

The National Gallery said modernisation plans were necessary considering recent cuts in government funding, which requires a ‘greater flexibility’, notably in developing the revenue from events and commercial activities. It also assured that the terms, conditions and interests of any staff who transferred to the new supplier would be protected, and wouldn’t involve any job losses.

Although the National Gallery expects to remain open throughout the strike, all planned education events would be cancelled.

30 January 2015.