National Museum Wales finances 'at risk' over dispute

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Media captionDavid Anderson said the museum faced finding more savings

A long-running dispute over weekend payments to staff is putting the finances of National Museum Wales at risk, its boss has warned.

NMW has started individual discussions with staff affected by proposals to scrap "premium payments".

It follows a breakdown in negotiations with the PCS union.

Staff who do not sign up to the new conditions could face being dismissed and offered their jobs on new terms.

NMW director general David Anderson said a failure to resolve the dispute meant the museum was using its reserves to cover costs.

He said: "I think we have to bring this to a conclusion.

"We have got staff coming to us asking if they can sign up to the offer that we are making. And in the broader context of the museum's finances, every month that goes by without resolution costs us a further £70,000 from our reserves.

"We simply cannot afford to continue to have the dispute running and we now need to bring it to a conclusion. If we don't do this, this puts the museum's finances at strategic risk."

As part of the deal to end extra payments for working weekends and bank holidays, NMW is offering staff a lump sum equivalent to two years' worth of premium payments.

Museum funding picture

Weekend pay dispute and offer

  • 600 staff

  • 300 receive weekend premium payments

  • £4,000 lump sum offer equivalent to two years of weekend payments

  • -4.7% grant funding cut from Welsh Government, 2016/17

About 300 of the museum's staff receive the payments and 220 are PCS members.

The union is currently holding strikes at NMW sites every weekend and has been staging industrial action for more than two years.

PCS Wales said none of its members had so far agreed to the museum's offer and it was prepared to re-enter negotiations in order to settle the dispute.

"What we'd like is for the museum to enter back into discussions with us, be more open and transparent, give us more information and to settle this dispute, we need to see an improvement in the offer," said Shavanah Taj, PCS Wales secretary.

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