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Piracy – alive and kicking at Royal Museums Greenwich

Piracy – alive and kicking at Royal Museums Greenwich

Prospect represents staff working at Royal Museums Greenwich (RMG) – including at the iconic Cutty Sark, the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory – the origin of Greenwich Mean Time.

Cutty Sark

The management of RMG has been unable to reach an agreement with Prospect over proposed contract changes for Front of House employees. As a result RMG has decided to impose detrimental contractual changes on a large number of Front of House employees from today (1 November 2017).

The changes impact on employees at the Cutty Sark as well as those in admissions and retail, but worst affected are employees in visitor engagement who face having 40 minutes of their breaks removed. In addition many staff could be required to work later or earlier than currently, as contracted working hours will allow rotas from 8am-8pm - which also means means the ability to work overtime for those who want to do it is reduced.

A paid hour’s break has also been removed for all. When salaries stay the same, this artificially inflates the hourly rate, giving the appearance of working towards the London Living Wage but without actually doing anything to increase the pay that staff take home.

Prospect has managed to secure a 2% increase for those worst affected but this leaves a shortfall even for these staff.

Caroline Hemmington Prospect negotiations officer said:

“Prospect members working in these roles are amongst the lowest paid at the Museum and Royal Museums Greenwich is one of the few London Museums where London Living Wage is not yet paid.

“Many staff feel they are being forced to accept these detrimental changes against their will – it’s a modern day equivalent of ‘walking the plank’.

“Now that the employer has decided to impose these changes rather than continuing to talk to staff Prospect is consulting members about next steps.”