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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 September 2019

Science Museum Group staff strike over pay restraint

National Science and Media Museum staff on strike in Bradford, 30.8.19, photo by Iain Dalton

National Science and Media Museum staff on strike in Bradford, 30.8.19, photo by Iain Dalton   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Socialist Party West Yorkshire organiser

13% over four years. That's how much workers in the Science Museum Group (SMG) have lost in pay over the last four years of below-inflation pay deals.

Members of the Prospect trade union across the SMG, which includes the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford and the National Railway Museum in York, took 24-hour strike action on 30 August demanding as a minimum, the Living Wage Foundation rates of pay.

The SMG gets 40% of its funding from central government which, given the squeezing of culture funding, staff expect the current government to freeze. However, the SMG made a 4.4 million surplus in 2018-19 including a 1.3 million tax credit which can be spent however SMG management chooses.

National Railway Museum staff on strike in York, 30.8.19, photo by Mal Richardson

National Railway Museum staff on strike in York, 30.8.19, photo by Mal Richardson   (Click to enlarge)

This hypocrisy has outraged staff in the museums. In York, one placard pointed out the SMG director's bonus was more than their annual wage!

Although a few workers have been on strike before (including a veteran of the 1977 firefighters strike in York), many of the workers were taking strike action for the first time. But that doesn't make them any less determined to make their voices heard.

In Bradford staff are not only concerned about their own plight but also with workers facing winter closing and reduced hours at the council, where Unite are currently balloting staff. Clearly there is scope for workers in the culture sector to come together to challenge cuts to services and the low pay rife throughout the sector.

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In The Socialist 4 September 2019:


What we think

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Marches, blockades, strikes, occupations... How can protests win?


News

Money doesn't make up for cuts - education unions must organise for funding and against Tory attacks

Bury expelled from football league: Boot out the bosses ruining our game

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Climate change

20 September climate action day: Strike to save the planet!

Climate action day - trade union round-up


Wales

Austerity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence


Retail

What strategy can end the retail jobs massacre?

Workplace victory emboldens retail workers to get organised


Workplace news

TUC: name the day for a mass demo

Nottingham college workers plan 15 days of walkouts

Science Museum Group staff strike over pay restraint

DVSA strike: action impacting

South Western Railway guards strike against DOO

London bus workers protest for better hours and conditions


International socialist news and analysis

Hong Kong protests: No let-up in trial of strength


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Party Youth and Student national meeting

Priced out of Pride

Bradford demo: Self-determination for Kashmir


Opinion

At 96 I'm more convinced of socialism than ever

The Socialist Inbox


 

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