Socialist Worker

Discontent at Tate Galleries

Issue No. 2267

The Tate galleries were last week hit by allegations of bullying of staff.

The problems relate to the employment of consultants who bosses brought in to push through cuts last year.

A staff survey in November found that 13 percent of

586 workers had suffered bullying or harassment.

A number of staff have been dismissed or suspended. One of these told the Independent newspaper that there was a “horrendous atmosphere” caused by “callous” management styles.

Workers believe that minor disciplinary offences are being used to cut staff.

A Tate worker told Socialist Worker, “When the news came out last week the staff felt liberated. But the managers were a bit frightened and confused.

“In some parts of the Tate, where there are strong unions and people are a tight unit, we don’t experience this kind of behaviour. But in other parts there is a big fear factor of the managers.”

Bosses claim that bullying is “unaccptable”.

PCS civil service workers’ union members at the Tate Liverpool art gallery have stopped management forcing through unpopular changes to people’s contracts.

Bosses wanted to make everyone flexible—box office workers would have to give guided tours, and tour guides would have to sell tickets.

Workers opposed the plans, and the threat of a ballot for industrial action made management think again.

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Article information

Tue 30 Aug 2011, 17:11 BST
Issue No. 2267
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