The government's failure to provide meaningful assistance to the culture sector sees the first round of mass redundancies at our national institutions, with many of the lowest paid staff facing redundancy.
PCS, in our conversations with the Secretary of State for DCMS, gave urgent warnings that without significant government investment we would see the devastation of the culture sector. Unfortunately this call was not heeded and without government intervention we are now seeing the first of the mass redundancies we have feared.
Along with the redundancy consultation announced in the Historic Royal Palaces, Tate Enterprise have now begun a consultation with PCS to make over 200 staff, across all sites, redundant. Many of these colleagues will be amongst the lowest paid staff on the Tate estate (with some at risk earning little more than the National Minimum Wage) and in some of the most diverse teams across Tate. The staff in question are also those colleagues at the Tate with the least redundancy rights, and Tate Enterprise have confirmed they will offer no more than statutory redundancy. Leaving many staff with little more than a month’s pay before they are left jobless in a crashed economy. Not even enough money to carry them through the Universal Credit wait time.
PCS is clear that our members, and indeed any worker, shouldn’t have to pay the price for the Coronavirus pandemic, and we are committed to opposing all compulsory redundancies. The mental and physical impact of this virus has been profound with almost all members facing increased stress and anxiety over their safety, and now their job security and financial futures.
While we understand the scale of the issues facing the sector, the museums and galleries must be prepared to use, their sometimes vast, cash reserves to support their hard working and dedicated staff, who have over the last 2 years generated tens of millions of pounds for the museums and galleries sector.
While we are insistent that in the immediate term the Tate must act. The government must also make an urgent and significant investment in the culture sector.
To join us in our call for a fully funded culture and heritage sector, please sign our petition.
If you are a member affected by redundancies in the culture sector, please email Culturesector@pcs.org.uk