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Strike action set to hit Glasgow leisure and arts venues

26 April 2010

BECTU members employed by Culture and Sport Glasgow (CSG) will join with union members of Unite, Unison and the GMB in a strike on Friday 30 April called in protest at their employer's continued attacks on their pay and conditions.

The 24 hour strike which will commence at 00.01 hours on 30 April will affect private functions, sporting events, concerts and theatre performances.

Culture & Sport Glasgow will find it difficult to offer any kind of normal service across its 70 venues in the coming weeks if the further industrial action planned to follow this Friday's strike goes ahead.

The Tramway and Mitchell Theatres, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and the City Halls are just some of the venues affected. Sports centres like the new flagship Toryglen Football Centre and the Kelvin Hall will also be targeted as will all libraries and museums.

Staff conditions attacked

Staff are protesting at management's decision to remove all overtime payments and to cut six bank holidays per year. In addition, 200 staff have been told that they face the sack if they refuse to sign new contracts which cut their earnings by up to £1500 a year.

CSG employees also face a wage freeze which represents a 4.4 per cent pay cut in real terms. 

Commenting on the situation, BECTU's Scottish organiser, Paul McManus said:

"Our members don't want to see the ordinary public suffer through cancelled events but we have spent months in negotiations trying to get Culture & Sport Glasgow to agree to alternative ways of making savings. Now that management have resorted to imposing cuts on our members then as a very last resort staff will be taking this action."

Relations with CSG have been fraught with difficulty since the company was created in April 2007 with the transfer of 2700 staff previously directly employed by Glasgow City Council.

Broken promises

The Council had argued that the creation of a separate Trust, would free managers to work in partnership with the commercial sector to substantially increase revenues. Staff were promised that their terms and conditions would not be damaged by the change in employer.

Instead, three years on, the company claims it is losing millions of pounds and is focussed on cutting staff pay and benefits to address the problem. BECTU has been a consistent critic of CSG's managers and the councillors who sit on the Trust's board none of whom have been held to account for the operation of the Trust. 

 Paul McManus continued:

“This is a Council run company and we have heard a good deal recently about councillors making a lot of money out of sitting on the boards of similar run companies. What we have yet to hear is the Council asking how the councillors who run this company have managed to lose millions of pounds in the space of a year.”

In February BECTU announced its plans to ballot its members over the pay and conditions dispute.

 

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