British Library staff suspend strike

Planned
strike action by British Library staff has been suspended to allow further
talks between the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union and management.

The
reopening of negotiations will see both sides discussing a pay dispute that has
led to the threat of strike action across several library sites.

The
new talks means that any further action will now be put on hold for 28 days.

A
main strike was planned for today at the library’s London site but has now been
cancelled, along with action planned for sites in St Pancras, Colindale and
Boston Spa on 19 August.

Andy
Cook, head of human resources at the British Library is optimistic a settlement
can be reached.

"We
now have a real opportunity to jointly address the issues that face the
library. As well as pay, the discussions will include modernising the library’s
pay and grading systems and HR policies and practices," he said.

Neil
March, PCS negotiations officer, said he hoped the talks would lead to an
improved settlement because staff were so disillusioned with the previous offer
they were prepared to lose pay in order to strike.

By Ross Wigham

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