Most National Museums Liverpool venues will likely stay shut until at least 14th April 2024, its director has announced, after a union negotiations failed to reach a conclusion.

National Museums Liverpool workers who are part of the PCS Union began an eight-week strike over pay on 17 February 2024. It is set to end on 14 April 2024.

Eight week strike announced by National Museums Liverpool union members

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.

In an update, National Museums Liverpool director Laura Pye said the payment was promised to civil servants, and because National Museums Liverpool colleagues are not civil servants they were not in scope.

Pye said an offer was made to PCS Union members on 20 March, which was conditional on a return to work on 27 March before Easter weekend.

It included a £750 one-off non-consolidated payment, an increase in annual leave to 30 days plus Bank Holidays, a commitment to shut down the venues every Christmas Eve and a commitment to provide free tea, coffee and milk in staff rooms.

Following the rejected offer, Pye said “without additional support from National Government, there’s very little we can do in addition to what has already been offered.

“Although we have been able to keep the Museum of Liverpool open, along with some other sites, it’s hard to see our other venues standing empty of people – something we didn’t want to ever happen again after the pandemic.”

In an update posted on 20th March, the Union said: “Over the past six weeks, members have been turning out in their dozens on the picket lines, demonstrating their determination to secure the cost-of-living payment that they deserve”.

Pye said workers have seen average wages increase by 14% since 2019/20 at a cost of an additional £2.4m a year.

Pye continued: “I also want to be honest and say that this is incredibly upsetting for myself and the many of the wider team here at NML, as we know how valuable our museums and galleries are to our local community and to the visitor economy of our city.”

Pye said National Museums Liverpool has reached out to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service for support to mediate a solution with PCS.


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