National Museums Scotland

National Museums Scotland staff begin seven-day strike

The action by the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union has resulted in the National Museum of Scotland and National War Museum being partially closed from today until Sunday 30 August

National Museums Scotland has been subject to action now for 18th months over its removal of a weekend allowance from new members of staff, which the union says could reduce an individual’s pay by between £2,000 and £3,000.

The dispute means that the major exhibition Photography: A Victorian Sensation exhibition and Scottish galleries, will be closed.

The National Museum of Scotland’s Entrance Hall, Museum Brasserie, shop, Grand Gallery (including the Waterloo: After the Battle and Masters of Japanese Porcelain displays), Animal World, Imagine and the Balcony Café will remain open.

A National Museums Scotland statement said: “It is regrettable that PCS has chosen to take this action, which is likely to have an impact on planned visits by children and their parents and other local, UK and international tourists who visit our museums during the Edinburgh Festival.

“National Museums Scotland has had an ongoing dialogue with PCS and has made a number of proposals with a view to resolving this dispute – all of which have been rejected without being put to their members. However, we remain committed to the process of dialogue and have proposed that further discussions take place.”

The NMS said that the revision of contracts for new staff was introduced in 2011 as a response to the financial crisis and no member of staff had received a pay cut. But to introduce weekend payments for staff who have been employed since 2011 would cost an unaffordable £400,000 per year.

The Museum After Hours: Friday Fringe Takeover event on the evening of Friday 28 August will proceed as normal. The daily afternoon Free Fringe Music performances will continue. The Tower Restaurant will be open as usual.