The union says cuts will fall disproportionately on specialists within NTS and will store up even more trouble for the future.
Prospect says that 91 full-time equivalent posts face the axe and has warned that future cuts planned for seasonal staff will have a knock-on affect for the specialists left, who will be expected to cover the gaps.
National secretary Alan Denney said specialist advisers in horticulture, archaeology, and conservation amongst others were shocked by the scale of the cuts and warned that the effects would be immediately apparent and would hasten the collapse of NTS, since the core of Scotland’s’ leading conservation charity had been undermined.
“The proposals will see a number of properties being closed and mothballed. Staff, and ultimately the heritage properties it has responsibility for will suffer. Last year Prospect warned that NTS was heading in the wrong direction when it reorganised and made staff redundant, but that warning was not heeded,” said Denney.
“The Trust has wasted its financial inheritance. Over the years it has spent its reserves without thinking about the future. Now it has been caught out by the economic downturn. We believe the organisation has badly mismanaged its finances and it is our members who face redundancy,” he added.
With income plummeting and NTS struggling to fund its projects the union has called for drastic action by the NTS board to prevent a disaster for Scotland’s heritage. It also called on the board and Chairperson to make an emergency appeal for funding, but this idea has been rejected.
The impact of the cuts will have a dramatic effect on visitor attractions in Scotland in the ‘year of homecoming.’ Prospect is calling on the Scottish government to intervene to save the National Trust for Scotland.