12 July 2021

Anger as the Southbank Centre moves forward with fire and rehire

Staff working as hosts at the Southbank Centre's Hayward Gallery are facing 20% pay cuts and a reduction of hours following the Southbank Centre's announcement to only extend their contracts if they agree to inferior terms.

In a move which has shocked members, the Southbank Centre has confirmed that staff working as hosts in the Hayward gallery will need to sign up to vastly inferior pay and fewer hours if they wish to continue working at the site. Hosts have been told that their pay will be slashed by nearly 20% in the new contracts, proposed to begin on 1 August. 

 The staff working at the Hayward were re-engaged on fixed term contracts after being made redundant last year thanks to an agreement made by PCS. As part of those discussions PCS demanded that staff who were re-employed would be given comparable terms and conditions and pay, a demand that the Southbank management agreed to. However less than a year later, they have reneged on the spirit of this agreement by removing some tasks currently performed by the hosts to justify implementing this massive pay and hours cut. 

PCS is clear that we will fight this attack on our members' terms and conditions and will do everything we can to challenge these fire and rehire tactics that try to force staff to accept these detrimental changes.  

Hosts at the Hayward have continued to provide vital services, including invigilation of galleries, during this last phase of the pandemic, risking their health to allow the gallery to re-open and the public to enjoy the exhibitions. For the Southbank to treat them so poorly in spite of their hard work and dedication during this difficult time a disgrace.  

Culture is vital to the nation's recovery from Covid, and an industrial dispute just as we begin to unlock from the pandemic is in no-one's interest. However, in the face of this attack we will be consulting our members on the action they will be willing to take. PCS is urging the Southbank to re-think these proposals, to treat their staff fairly and to reward them for their continuing hard work. 

Members and supporters will be holding a socially distanced protest to oppose this fire and rehire.  Join us to show your support outside the Hayward Gallery (SE1 8XX) on Saturday 24 July from 10:00-12:00.