Science Museum strike on hold
28 Feb 2008
Specialist staff employed by the UK’s national science museum have agreed a week-long temporary stay over strike action after securing commitments from management to negotiate and not impose sweeping changes to their terms and conditions.
But their union Prospect warned that if staff did not receive a pay offer for 2007 within the next few days, the mandate to strike remained valid and industrial action would go ahead.
Members had voted for a series of one-day strikes by a majority of nine to one in protest over the lack of a tabled offer for 2007 pay, 10 months after its implementation date.
Their frustration was compounded by concerns that the museum planned a sweeping package of changes to terms and conditions of all staff, including pulling the museum out of the civil service pension scheme.
On behalf of 200 curators, conservators, technical staff and managers at the museum, Prospect negotiator Emily Boase said: "The commitment to maintain the status quo until any changes to the terms and conditions have been agreed with the unions is a welcome gesture of goodwill.
"But this alone will not placate members who have already endured an effective pay freeze for 10 months and have still to see a formal offer tabled. Resolution through negotiation is always our preferred approach, but the museum needs to act fast if it is to retain any confidence from their staff."
Staff in the Science Museum, London, the National Railway Museum, York, the National Media Museum, Bradford, and the Science Museum, Swindon collectively make up the National Museum of Science and Industry.
NMSI warders, security and administrative staff represented by the PCS union have also been balloted on strike action.