Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Friday, 12 February 2010

Pay strike planned at National Gallery in London

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London
Staff at the National Gallery plan to strike on 16 February

Staff at the National Gallery in central London have announced plans to strike next week in a row over pay.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union intend to walk out for two hours on 16 February to protest at their pay rates.

Union members said some of the workers' pay fell 60p short of London's so-called "living wage" of £7.60 an hour.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said staff were "sick and tired" of working long hours.

He said: "Staff who protect important artworks and assist the public are sick and tired of working 50 to 60 hour weeks and having to take second jobs to earn a living wage.

"The refusal by management to reopen pay talks and its imposition of the pay award, just days before Christmas, has left staff feeling angry and betrayed."

A National Gallery spokeswoman said: "The gallery will do all it can to keep disruption to the public to a minimum during the industrial action."

"However we are hopeful that the gallery will continue to open."

London Mayor Boris Johnson set the London Living Wage at £7.60 an hour in May 2009.

The scheme recommends the minimum wage employees should be paid in London.

It is nearly £2 higher than the national minimum wage which is set at £5.80 per hour for workers over 22 years old.

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