20,000 signatures reached
To: The Board of Trustees and Directors of the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum and the Culture Minister
No Backdoor Privatisation at V&A Museum
Join the campaign to defend direct employment at the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum and defend employment rights for museum workers.
We call for:
- The V&A to immediately suspend plans to employ all future employees on new contracts through V&A Enterprises Ltd, the museum’s trading company.
- The V&A to continue direct employment for new starters: ensuring V&A employees access to Civil Service Pensions & Compensation Schemes, retaining current terms & conditions (such as maternity & sick pay), and collective bargaining rights.
- Extend union recognition and collective bargaining to current V&A Enterprises Ltd: ensuring future changes are made through meaningful negotiation with the V&A’s recognised unions.
- Ensure all staff working at the V&A, in direct employment or employed by contractors, pay at least the London Living Wage.
Why is this important?
As of January 2016 the V&A Museum will stop employing new museum staff directly. All new staff (from Gallery Assistants to Curators) will now be employed through the museum’s own trading company V&A Enterprises Ltd.
This ‘in-house’ backdoor privatisation is presented by the museum as a cost saving exercise and a consequence of declining budgets. Their savings will in effect be made by removing access for new staff to the Civil Service Pensions and Compensation Schemes as well as employing new starters on reduced terms & conditions (maternity & sick pay are especially affected), and preventing new staff’s access to union recognition and collective bargaining. The trade unions currently recognised by the V&A are: PCS, Prospect, & FDA. PCS created this petition.
Although the museum has committed to ‘review’ future union recognition in the Enterprises company; so far management have consistently refused to enter into negotiations with the unions over this matter, arguing that only new employees would be affected, not existing members of staff. However, this decision can only lead to a two-tier workforce, exacerbating inequalities between V&A staff and before long undermining the rights of the current workforce.