National Gallery staff strike over plans to hand jobs to guarding company CIS

National Gallery staff strike over outsourcing plans to guarding company CIS

Gallery staff at the National Gallery in London are on strike for five days to protest plans to outsource their jobs to security guarding company CIS.

The Gallery says it has to outsource the 250 jobs to enable it to modernise its operations and encourage a broader and younger audience to access the site. “The National Gallery needs to introduce a new roster for some visitor-facing and security staff to enable the National Gallery to operate more flexibly,” it said in a statement on its website.

It claims it made an offer that would meet and exceed the London living wage. The PCSU claims that the Gallery reneged on the offer, making it the only major museum or gallery in London not to pay it.

Staff say they are concerned about changes in working hours and shift rota. The Gallery says there will be no job cuts and terms and conditions will be protected.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCSU), which is leading the strike, said there had been a breakdown of discussions between management and unions. In addition, they said one of its senior representatives had been suspended by the Gallery as a result of the dispute.

The PCSU also claim in a statement on its website that CIS was granted the contract to provide staff for the Sainsbury wing of the Gallery without competitive tendering or consultation.

CIS is a London-based company with a turnover in 2013 of £32m. According to the Infologue list of “Top 25 UK companies in the regulated security sector”, it is ranked 19th in the country.

Links
www.cis-security.co.uk

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