Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) who work at National Museums Liverpool are set to strike for eight weeks in a dispute over pay.

The union claims National Museums Liverpool has refused to pay the £1,500 cost-of-living payment, one of the concessions made by the government as a result of the union’s national campaign.

PCS members working at seven museum and gallery sites across Merseyside will walk out from 17 February to 14 April 2024.

The strikes follow a ballot which closed late last month, which saw 94% of National Museums Liverpool union members vote in favour of industrial action.

National Museums Liverpool union members vote to strike

The action is likely to affect the Museum of Liverpool, the World Museum, the International Slavery Museum and the Maritime Museum, as well as the Walker Art Gallery, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

Casey Burgess, National Museums Liverpool PCS branch chair said: “The action we’re taking means a lot to our members. They have endeavoured to keep Liverpool’s fascinating stories alive through a cost-of-living crisis after working through a global pandemic. We’ll keep fighting to make sure that we’re paid fairly for our work.”

PCS general secretary Fran Heathcote added: “Our members at NML work just as hard as our members elsewhere, so why are they not receiving the same rewards?

“NML can stop these strikes before they start by doing the decent thing for their staff and paying them what they deserve.”

A statement issued by NML said “it would be impossible for us to cover the £1,500 cost of living payment agreed by the Cabinet Office for all civil servants, on top of the pay awards we have already given.

“NML has a pay freedom, meaning we are not governed by the civil service pay remit. This also means that NML staff are not civil servants, and we therefore didn’t receive any additional funding to cover the payment, unlike some arms-length government bodies.

“The financial stability of our organisation is crucial for the preservation and promotion of our shared cultural heritage, and this additional payment would set us back a further £750,000, placing us below the minimum legal reserve levels when we are already forecasting a deficit of £2million.”

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