Tate workers begin ballot for strike action

PCS and Prospect members working at the Tate are being balloted for strike action over a proposed real terms pay cut for 2018-19.

Tate had proposed a package which amounted to a consolidated pay rise of between 1.7% and 2.3% for most Prospect members, with an additional one-off ‘thank you payment’.

Given an RPI inflation rate of 3.4% on the effective date of 1 April 2018, this amounts to a significant real terms pay cut for Tate staff who are already comparatively underpaid and overworked.

The offer was rejected by staff in September 2018 however, instead of further consultation with unions, Tate decided to impose the pay deal.

Prospect, along with the PCS, which also represents Tate staff, conducted a consultative ballot on strike action on in November 2018 with members indicating they wanted to proceed with a full ballot on strike action and action short of a strike.

This statutory ballot was opened on March 25 and will run until April 15.

Prospect national secretary Alan Leighton said: “It is really disappointing that Tate did not listen to its staff and their unions. Instead Tate decided to impose this unacceptable pay deal and has refused to improve it despite the result of the consultative ballots.

“Tate staff are dedicated to their jobs, but low pay and long hours are causing real hardship for staff as well as undermining Tate’s mission to reflect the diverse community they seek to serve.

“It is not too late for Tate to reconsider their position, reopen talks on pay, and avert industrial action.”

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The management at Tate can’t continue to treat hardworking staff with contempt. They are working harder than ever and continue to be underpaid and undervalued for the work they do.

“With both PCS and Prospect balloting for action, we hope that management will take seriously the very real concerns around pay and conditions that Tate workers have.

“The Tate is one of our most valued national intuitions. It is about time that management started valuing the staff that make it so successful.”

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