Page last updated at 11:22 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 12:22 UK

Bank holiday strikes to hit Glasgow's top museums

Kelvingrove Museum
The dispute centres around plans to freeze pay and cut overtime

Some of Scotland's busiest museums and galleries will be closed over part of the May Bank Holiday weekend because of strike action.

Four unions at Culture and Sport Glasgow are planning two 24-hour strikes in an ongoing dispute over pay.

The charity runs venues such as the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Burrell Collection and People's Palace.

Members of the Unison, Unite, GMB and Bectu unions will take part in strike action on 28 and 31 May.

Culture and Sport Glasgow is a charity which runs arts, sport and leisure services for the city.

The organisation implemented a pay freeze from 1 April along with a change to "plain time" for all overtime worked.

It said the moves were necessary if it was to avoid cuts to services and jobs.

The Unison, Unite, GMB and Bectu unions oppose the changes and have staged two previous 24-hour strikes which have closed libraries, museums and community centres.

Martin Doran, regional organiser for GMB Scotland, said: "There will be two 24-hour stoppages and, as of Friday this week, there will be an overtime ban in place as well.

We have consistently made it clear that our priority is to protect both services and jobs
Culture and Sport Glasgow spokesman

"This means no one will be working any additional hours that are requested of them.

"The silence is deafening coming from the senior management team at Culture and Sport Glasgow. The last set of talks we had was on the morning of the first day of the dispute."

Mr Doran said the unions would discuss their next move after the May strikes.

A spokesman for Culture and Sport Glasgow said it would try to minimise disruption on the day of the strikes and advised the public to check the company's website for closures.

"Around one in seven of our staff voted for strike action and the trade unions are fully aware that the public sector is not immune from the current financial crisis," the spokesman said.

'Necessary savings'

"We have consistently made it clear that our priority is to protect both services and jobs.

"In order to make the savings necessary to achieve this, we must change the way we work, or be forced to consider job cuts."

Culture and Sport Glasgow wants to make £3.4m in cuts this financial year and has been discussing with unions how it will implement them since September last year.

The first strike staged by the four unions took place last month.

If the latest action goes ahead it will fall on a weekend when Glasgow is likely to have thousands of visitors from Scotland and the rest of the UK.

BBC Scotland understands that a strike is also being planned for the local holiday on 19 July.

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