Prospect members at Science Museum Group announce new strike date after talks fall short

08 Oct 2019

Prospect union members in the Science Museum Group (SMG) will be taking strike action on Wednesday 23 October.

This follows a previous strike on 30 August and comes after management failed to make a long-term commitment to cost-of-living pay, and offered no improvement on this year’s pay.

Earlier in the year, SMG imposed a below-inflation pay rise of 1.5% for most staff – the latest in a series of below-inflation pay rises which have left workers with a significant real-terms pay cut of 10% since 2011. Members voted to reject that deal and subsequently voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.

At the lowest end of the scale SMG still does not pay the Real Living Wage. Management have agreed to address this next year, but workers earning below the Real Living Wage will continue to do so until the conclusion of the next pay round – this is not sustainable.

Prospect negotiator Sharon Brown said:

“Our members in SMG love their jobs but they cannot carry on with year after year of uncertainty and real terms pay cuts. It is clear from the accounts that SMG can afford to pay a reasonable wage. It’s time for management to sort this out so our members can get on with the jobs they love.

“We are encouraged by the way negotiations with the Science Museum Group have progressed but we are still well short of a long-term commitment to paying the Real Living Wage. Paying the Real Living Wage next year is welcome but means that for several months, hundreds of workers will still be earning less than they need to survive.

“SMG has some of the highest profile museums in the country and it is ludicrous that they won’t just start paying all their workers enough to live on, and commit to doing so in the future.”

Note to editors

Senior management salary growth at SMG has vastly outstripped median salary growth. Between 2014 and 2018 the average full time employed salary at SMG grew by just 1.6% per year while the director’s salary grew by 5.5% per year.

In that period the number of people at the SMG earning over £100,000 a year doubled from four to eight and the director has received annual bonuses worth more than many workers earn in a year.