Science Museum staff walk out over pay


Science Museum staff walk out over pay

Curators, conservators, technical staff and managers employed at the National Museum of Science and Industry’s (NMSI) four sites have taken strike action in protest at the imposition of the worst pay offer of any heritage site in the UK.

Their union Prospect said nearly all of its 200 members stayed away from work with many joining pickets outside the museums in London, York, Bradford and Swindon. They were joined by colleagues from the PCS union.

National Secretary Emily Boase congratulated members for taking a stand against an award that provided only 3% for 2007 and 2.7% in 2008. Only 1.5% was set aside for a cost of living increase in 2007 and nothing, except performance-related pay increases, for 2008.

Boase said: “After enduring an effective pay freeze while they waited more than a year for an offer, and suspending planned action at the beginning of the year to allow talks to continue, no-one can accuse our members of being unreasonable. But the imposition of this insulting deal which falls below even the Treasury’s pay cap smacks of a complete disregard for museum staff, who felt they could not tolerate any more.”

The action was well-supported at all four NMSI sites.

  • At the Science Museum, London, members handed out leaflets explaining the action and received messages of support from the public. The protest will continue into the evening to coincide with the museum’s science night event.
  • Representatives from the National Union of Journalists’ chapel at the Press newspaper group in York added their support by joining the well-attended picket outside the National Railway Museum.
  • Demonstrations outside the Science Museum, Swindon and National Media Museum, Bradford reported high attendance.
Members will be meeting within the next week to discuss any further action.