Page last updated at 19:41 GMT, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Museum staff in Sheffield take pay cut to save jobs

Weston Park Museum in Sheffield
There will be fewer exhibitions at Sheffield's museums to cut costs

Museum workers in Sheffield have agreed to take a reduction in pay to try to save money and avoid job cuts.

Staff at the Sheffield Museums and Galleries Trust, known as Museums Sheffield, have already been on a pay freeze for two years.

The council has asked the trust to make £170,000 of savings in the next year.

Sheffield Museums' chief executive, Nick Dodd, said he was "heartened" and "impressed" by the decision to cut pay, which was made by staff themselves.

Wages are to be cut by about 2.5% and hours will also be reduced for full-time staff.

'In it together'

"This is about putting the sacrifice of the organisation before any service reductions, we're taking our hit first," Mr Dodd said.

He described how members of staff from all levels in the organisation were asked for their opinions on how best to make the savings, and the consensus had been for a reduction in wages.

He said: "There was a strong sense of 'everyone's in this together, and we need to find a way through together', rather than pick on any individuals."

"That was very heartening, I have to say I was very impressed."

He said that further savings would be made by reducing the number of exhibitions held at the city's museums.

Mr Dodd said he hoped the situation would improve in the future.

"What we would like to do is to have this only as a temporary exercise and if the economy improves in two to three years' time we'd want to go back to where we were before," he said.

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