Socialist Worker

Strike for higher pay at five Science Museum sites

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2670

Strikers say bosses’ attitudes to pay belong in a museum

Strikers say bosses’ attitudes to pay belong in a museum (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Workers at Science Museum group sites across England struck for 24 hours last Friday in a fight over pay.

The members of the Prospect union walked out after rejecting a pay deal that gave most of them a below-inflation 1.5 percent pay increase.

Prospect says years of similar pay deals mean workers at the sites have effectively had a pay cut of 13 percent since 2010.

Workers struck at museums in London, Manchester, Bradford, York and Wiltshire.

Imogen Clarke, who works at the Science Museum in west London, said the low pay was forcing many ­workers to leave the job.

“As a more junior staff member there’s no incentive to stay—you don’t feel valued,” she said.

“I don’t want to leave as I love working there but I can’t afford to continue for much longer.”

Struggle 

Laurel Mackie, who also works in west London, earns less than the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour. She said paying for childcare was a “struggle”.

“Travel is expensive too,” she said. “I have to think about what time of day I travel which can be a bit of a rush when you’re with a child.”

Carlos Alvares said he was “barely making enough to break even”.

And assistant curator Khalil Thirlaway said, “Senior management are not willing to do anything about it—we want them to hear our concerns.

“They say there’s no money but there’s enough money to hire senior management and pay them more.

“How can the other museums pay their staff fairly?”


 


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