Museum staff to protest outside Banksy exhibition over job cuts

Unison claims Glasgow Life intend to cut 37 posts in the city’s museums and collections department to save £1.5m.

Museum staff to protest outside Banksy exhibition at Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art over job cuts STV News

Museum workers who face losing nearly a third of their colleagues due to cuts will protest outside the Banksy exhibition at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art on Saturday

Unison the union claims Glasgow Life intends to cut 37 posts from a total of 128 in the city’s museums and collections department to save £1.5m.

Behind-the-scenes roles such as curators, conservators, technicians, outreach and learning assistants, collections staff and positions involving photography, editorial and design are all under threat, Unison said.

It comes after a protest at the newly refurbished Burrell Collection in Pollock Park last week.

“The protests are gathering pace, and we have had support from across the artist community and the many friendly societies and associations that support the museums,” said branch secretary Brian Smith.

“We encourage everyone to attend our protests outside GOMA, 12pm this Saturday, August 5.“

Glasgow Life has responded saying more than half of the posts are already vacant and it is working with the union where filled posts are affected.

Glasgow Life said in turn the planned savings will ensure no existing services, programmes or events will be lost entirely.

A Glasgow Life spokesperson said: “Glasgow’s museums and collections receive careful and considered care and this is going to continue.

“The savings Glasgow Life is making this year add up to around 9% of the annual service fee the charity receives from Glasgow City Council and ensure we will not have to close any venues.

“More than half of the Glasgow Life Museums posts affected by these savings measures are currently vacant. We are currently working closely with staff and unions to work through what this will mean for individual members of staff.

“Wherever possible, we have identified ways of making savings by reducing, rather than losing, Glasgow Life services, programmes and events, retaining the potential to rebuild them in the future.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government has increased the resources available to local government in 2023-24 by more than £793m, a real-terms increase of £376m or 3%, compared with the 2022-23 budget figures.

“In 2023-24, Glasgow City Council will receive over £1.5bn to fund local services, which equates to an extra £62.6m to support vital day-to-day services or an additional 4.2% compared to 2022-23.

“The annual local government finance settlement is distributed using the needs-based formula, which is discussed and agreed each year with COSLA. The formula uses the most up-to-date information for the full range of indicators, including factors such as deprivation.”

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