Glasgow City Council Unison’s branch has launched a campaign against the SNP leadership of the Council’s proposed cuts in museum services. Rallies are being held at the Burrell Collection gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art in the city centre (Saturday 5th August 12 noon). The rally at the Burrell Collection was addressed by Unison workers in conservation and collections whose jobs are at risk and also by representatives of the Unite and GMB unions at the Council. Below we publish the leaflet issued by the Unison branch – please support the campaign.
Shredding Services quicker than a Banksy Auction!
Banksy’s Cut and Run exhibition, Mary Quant at Kelvingrove and the Burrell Collection winning the prestigious award of Art Fund Museum of the Year. These are just some of the successes Glasgow Museums have delivered this summer.
So visitors and tourists to Glasgow’s Museums will be shocked to know that the city’s Museums and Collections department, run by Glasgow Life, will see nearly a third of jobs cut with 37 posts from a total of 128 to be lost this year to save £1.5M.
The jobs cull affects the behind the scenes staff across Glasgow Museums and the City Archives and Special Collections staff at the Mitchell Library. Posts to go include Curators, Conservators, Technicians, Outreach and Learning Assistants, Collections staff, and staff from Photography, Editorial and Design.
The Museum Conservation department is being reduced by 40%. Curatorial staff and Collections Management are facing heavy cuts. Savaging cuts to the professional teams will result in a loss of skillls, knowledge, creativity and essential car of Glasgow’s world-renowned museum collections. Public programmes, displays, exhibitions and online content will be vastly reduced as a result. Losing the technical and specialist staff who prepare objects and loans, manage and move the collections, design and build the displays and temporary exhibitions will result in diminished public experiences, empty exhibition spaces and stagnant galleries.
A move towards the privatisation of technical and specialist skills is expensive and diminishes both the public offer and public purse.
Cuts to Glasgow Life’s Open Museum and Learning and Access provision will see a reduction in services to marginalized communities in Glasgow. Activities such as free facilitated weekend activities for families will be greatley reduced. Successful initiatives such as dementia and autism friendly programmes are much less likely to happen in the future. The cuts risk shifting a dynamic museum services towards spaces of elite privilege.
UNISON demands Glasgow Councillors stand up for Glasgow Life services, not pass on the funding attacks from the Scottish and UK governments.
We call on Glasgow City Councillors to reverse these devastating cuts to our Museums and Collections.
Our Museums and Collections are world renowned and internationally lauded. They need to be protected and cherished.
Want to vent a little?
We suggest you contact:
Councillor Susan Aitken (Leader of Glasgow City Council)
Councillor Annette Christie (Chair of Glasgow Life)
Leaflet published by Unison, 84 Bell Street
Glasgow, G1 1LQ Tel: 0141 552 7069
Photos of protest rally at The Burrell Collection by M Picken for ecosocialist.scot