1,000 signatures reached
To: Scottish Government, and for the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop
End the two-tier workforce at National Museums of Scotland
National Museums of Scotland employs two types of employees doing exactly the same job but some receive an allowance for working weekends and some don't. Resolving this injustice will help to alleviate the culture of chronic low-pay in what is considered to be a 'flagship' cultural institution.
We are Calling on the Scottish Government, and on the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop to intervene at National Museums of Scotland to re-instate weekend allowance for those who do not receive it.
Why is this important?
In 2011 the management of National Museums Scotland broke an existing ACAS agreement and arbitrarily and unilaterally imposed a two-tier wage structure upon its lowest-paid workers (principally Cleaners, Visitor Services Assistants, Housemen, Security) without consultation or negotiation with the recognised Trade Unions.
Staff employed since 1st January 2011 are on reduced terms and conditions without a weekend working allowance which is paid to compensate for having to work anti-social hours. Many of this lowest paid group only get one full weekend off once every seven weeks, which has a detrimental impact on family and social life.
The consequence is that low-paid workers on the same shifts, doing the same work, are being paid up to £3,000 less than their colleagues. These workers make the National Museums Scotland the top rate attraction it is, and it is only fair that they get paid properly for their hard work. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation states that those earning under £17,100 a year are being paid a Poverty Wage, and many of our members earn well below that.
Senior Scottish Politicians, in opposition against Westminster, have recently been calling for recognition of weekend working payments for those who give up valuable family and social time. These payments make up a large part of low-paid workers’ take home pay. PCS totally agree with safeguarding weekend working rights, and believe that if it is good enough for other workers, then National Museums Scotland staff deserve this too.
Both Museum management and the Scottish Government need to embrace the principle of recompensing weekend work and accept PCS proposals to settle this long- running dispute.
We do not believe that low-paid culture workers deserve to suffer at the hands of austerity, especially when heritage and culture contribute so much to the Scottish economy. The Museum’s own figures show that it contributes £65million to the economy.
PCS Members at the National Museums of Scotland have been taking part in discontinuous strike action for over 2 years. Despite repeated requests to come to a negotiated settlement with management, this has not happened.