Union warns of further strikes as workers return to National Museums Liverpool

This weekend marks the end of 56 planned strike days at seven museums and galleries in the city – and more could follow

The union National Museums Liverpool to strike for 56 days have warned that further strikes could be on the horizon if an agreement cannot be made over pay.

Workers who are part of the PCS Union began an eight-week strike over pay on 17 February 2024. The 56 days of industrial action are thought to be the longest in the union’s history.

The strike is scheduled to end this weekend after a rally outside the Museum of Liverpool, addressed by PCS acting national president Martin Cavanagh and other speakers. Workers are then set to return on Monday 15 April 2024.

Although workers will return, National Museums Liverpool and the union are still to settle the dispute.

The union claims National Museums Liverpool employees have not been paid a £1,500 cost-of-living payment, one of the concessions made by the government as a result of the union’s national campaign.

Last week, National Museums Liverpool director Laura Pye said the payment was promised only to civil servants, and because National Museums Liverpool colleagues are not civil servants they were not in the scope of the pay.

Pye also said workers had been offered a £750 one-off non-consolidated payment, an increase in annual leave to 30 days plus Bank Holidays, a commitment to shut down the venues every Christmas Eve and a commitment to provide hot drinks in staff rooms, which the union rejected.

In a statement yesterday the PCS Union said: “although there has been some progress in negotiations, until an acceptable settlement is reached, the dispute is not over and further strike action is likely.”