Heritage staff to advertise adverse conditions by going on strike

Staff
at English Heritage have voted to strike over pay and conditions, following the
revelation that £500,000 of the payroll budget is to be spent on advertising.

Members
of the union Prospect voted overwhelmingly in favour of a one-day strike on 11
March followed by a series of days where members will not work beyond their
contracted hours.

On
a high turnout of 72.8 per cent, nearly 77 per cent voted to strike while
almost 90 per cent backed some form of industrial action.

The
union said the vote sends a clear message to English Heritage that staff will
not accept what it calls one of the worst central government sector pay offers
of 2001.

Prospect
says it is the latest in a series of disappointing pay awards which have seen staff
pay lag approximately 10 per cent behind that of mainstream civil service
employers in the past five years.

A
recent financial review of the organisation revealed that English Heritage
intends to use £500,000 of the payroll budget on advertising.

Prospect
negotiating officer Steve Jary, said: ”Members cannot understand why, following
one of the lowest pay offers in government service, money is being taken out of
the payroll budget to spend on advertising.

“It
seems, once again, that EH management have made choices which ignore the need
to resolve pay and equity anomalies within the system, in favour of choices
which leave staff feeling overlooked and let down.”

By Quentin Reade

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