£12k payments end museums pay dispute

National Museums Scotland said it reached an agreement with the PCS Union that will bring to an end the three-year long industrial dispute over payment of weekend allowances.

“Funding support from the Scottish Government and efficiency savings have enabled National Museums Scotland and the PCS Trade Union to reach an agreement to buy out weekend working allowances and improve the pay of the lowest paid members of staff,” said NMS in a statement.

NMS said the buyout is a single one-off payment to end the allowances and this offer has been combined with a previously-made offer that improves the pay of the lowest paid members of staff.

The union said most of its members will get compensation payments of between £600 and £15,000, with an average of £12,000 for those who currently get the weekend allowance.

The deal means planned strike action for weekends during April will no longer take place.

“Following a breakthrough offer from management, PCS suspended the first three weeks of a planned six weeks of sustained, weekend industrial action,” said the union.

“Members had been due to escalate their action from Easter until the Holyrood elections at the start of May.

“Intensive negotiations with management have been ongoing for the last two weeks, which led to an offer being made.

“Our members voted to accept an offer to put an end to the two-tier workforce and tackle low pay at the museum.”

The union said its members will receive wage rises of between £221 and £1,634, with the lowest paid gaining the most.

“Most members will also get compensation payments of between £600 and £15,000, with an average of over £12,000 for those currently in receipt of the allowance,” said the union in a statement.

“National Museums management has committed to further addressing the issue of low pay going forward.

“Overtime rates and shift allowances will increase and temporary workers will get first option of new permanent jobs, expected soon.”

Lynn Henderson, PCS national officer, said: “We are pleased to announce that our members have voted overwhelmingly to accept the offer from management.

“For PCS, the dispute was always about two things, low pay and ending the two-tier workforce.

“This deal meets both our objectives.

“This settlement is hugely significant for our members in National Museums Scotland who have shown that through united and determined action we can win significant results, even in the face of austerity.”