Welsh museums hit by Easter strikes


Welsh museums were hit by more strike action over the Easter weekend. 


Talks between the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and National Museums Wales have broken down over a pay dispute about weekend and bank holiday working.

The strike will affect six museums, the Big Pit National Coal Museum, The National Wool Museum, National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, the National Slate Museum,  St Fagan's National History Museum and Cardiff's National Museum Wales. Managers warned that trhere would be closures over the Easter period.

The move follows the breakdown of negotiations in the long-running dispute about ending extra payments to staff for weekend working. National Museum Wales said it is facing a 4.7% cut in its annual grant in aid from the Welsh Government and the weekend payments cost about £750,000 a year.

It accused the PCS union of reneging on an agreement to ballot staff.  The PCS said members had "no confidence" in the management.

"Resolving this dispute is now a matter of urgency for Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales), due to the pressures of a reduced budget," a spokesperson said.

PCS Wales secretary, Shavanah Taj, said: "This dispute has now dragged on for two years and morale is at rock bottom. We understand that the Museum's budget has been cut but don't accept that it should be the 'front-of-house' staff - the poorest-paid in the organisation - who should make the greatest sacrifice, by giving up their weekend pay."



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