Picket lines expected outside museums as part of strike action

Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) will take part in a nationwide strike tomorrow

Picket lines are expected outside the likes of the British Museum tomorrow, 1st February 2023 as members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) go on a national strike.

Around 100,000 members from 123 employers across the civil service and related areas will go on strike.

The trade union said it expects hundreds of picket lines outside places of work across the UK as part of what it called a “significant escalation of industrial action after a month of strikes over pay, pensions, redundancy terms and job security.”

Its campaign is for a 10% pay rise, pensions justice, job security and no cuts in redundancy terms.

The places set for picket lines include two streets outside the British Museum, on both Great Russell Street and Montague Place.

Two picket lines are also set to take place at Royal Albert Dock, outside National Museums Liverpool’s Maritime Museum and International Slavery Museum.

In Edinburgh picket lines are planned outside the National Museum of Scotland and the
Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Historic Environment Scotland sites Edinburgh Castle and Stirling Castle are also expected to have picket lines.

HES is asking visitors to check for closures before arriving at its sites.

PCS is also asking members working for the British Museum to take part in a strike from 13 – 19 February 2023. It is reported that more than 100 members of the museum’s visitor services and security teams are set to strike during the five days of action.

The PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, said: “We warned ministers that our action would spread if they ignored our demands, and we’re good to our word.

“In failing to come to the table with any new money, the government has failed its own workforce – the very people they praised for keeping the country running during the pandemic.

“If the government was serious about resolving the dispute, ministers could resolve it tomorrow. Instead, they’re shamefully hiding their heads in the sand, hoping we’ll go away. We won’t.

“Wednesday will see the largest action by our union in a decade, with 100,000 of our members all over England, Scotland and Wales telling the government they demand a pay rise now to help them through the cost-of-living crisis and beyond.”

Late last year, nearly 100 employees at the National Coal Mining Museum for England (NCMME) won a pay increase of up to 10.5% following days of strike action.