PCS condemns V&A redundancy announcement

29 Sep 2020

PCS has rejected and condemned the Victoria and Albert Museum’s proposal to cut more than 100 retail and visitor experience jobs – around 10% of its overall workforce.

As the Guardian reports staff were briefed earlier today about a process to reduce costs by £10 million annually, with job losses in other departments set to follow.

We believe that is has been through the extraordinary efforts of front-of-house workers, some of whom worked throughout the lockdown, that the V&A has been able to reopen its doors to the public. They have been in direct contact with thousands of people a day making sure that the museum can fulfil its mission in the midst of a pandemic. They deserve our thanks and gratitude, not redundancies.

We believe it is a disgrace that the V&A has chosen not to use the government Job Support Scheme (JSS). Jobs across the museum, even with reduced visitor numbers, are sustainable. Management’s decision to immediately enter a consultation for compulsory redundancy for front of house workers, while running a voluntary-only redundancy scheme for all other departments, is a direct attack on the most diverse and some of lowest paid workers at the museum. It is unacceptable, it is unethical, and workers at the V&A will not allow it.

PCS will not accept the museum’s current approach. We call on the institution to:

  • Immediately end all talk of compulsory redundancies
  • Apply for the government’s Job Support Scheme
  • Engage constructively with PCS, Prospect, and FDA.

We are also calling on the government to intervene at the V&A and across the culture sector where hundreds of workers are facing redundancies and there is a real prospect of more to come.

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