Strike planned at Science Museum

Ballot on industrial action at Museum of London too

Staff at the Science Museum Group (SMG) are to have a one day strike on August 30, following a week of working to rule.

The industrial action has been called by the Prospect trade union over a pay dispute. Unions have rejected a below-inflation pay rise of 1.5% for most staff earlier this year. The union says its the latest in a series of below-inflation pay rises which have left workers across the sector with a 13% real terms pay cut since 2010.

Prospect says that lower paid workers in the group which includes the Science Museum in London National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the National Railway Museum in York are not paid the real living wage, in London or elsewhere. Other national museums such as the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert do pay more.

Prospect negotiations officer Sharon Brown said: “Our members in SMG love their jobs but they cannot carry on with year after year of real terms pay cuts. The group has left us with no option but to strike.

“I’m sure that most of the million or so people visiting SMG museums this summer will be astounded at how poorly its staff are paid, especially when they see that the director’s pay has increased by a third in just four years.

She added that Senior management salary growth has also vastly outstripped median salary growth. Between 2014 and 2018 the average full time employed salary at SMG grew by just 1.6% per year while the director’s salary grew by 5.5% per year. In that period the number of people at the SMG earning over £100,000 a year doubled from four to eight and the director has received annual bonuses worth more than many workers earn in a year.

Prospect is also to ballot its members in the Museum of London on industrial action after the museum imposed a below-inflation pay rise of 1.5%.

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