PCS union threatens strike over library pay offer

The
HR director at the British Library has expressed his disappointment at plans by
the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union to take strike action on Monday
over the organisation’s 2001-2002 pay offer.

The
pay offer, averaging 4 per cent, has already been accepted by two of the three
unions that represent staff at the library.

Director
of HR at the British Library Andy Cook, said: "We are disappointed that we
have reached this point. The British Library values its staff and we feel
strongly that we have made a good offer for 2001-2002 to our staff and unions.

"The
British Library would like to apologise to readers and all our users for any
disruption to service that may be caused by the planned industrial
action," he added. 

Cook
said the library’s pay offer is double the current rate of inflation and higher
than the average for the cultural sector (3.8 per cent).

Furthermore,
staff are aware that the library does not have the funds to improve on the
offer.

The
FDA (First Division Association) and Prospect, the other two unions at the
Library, have both accepted the proposed settlement.

But
Terry Adams, PCS national officer said his union’s members were unhappy with
the offer.

"This
pay increase is an insult to our members and the valuable work that they do.
Management should end this dispute by making an offer that addresses the issue
of low pay among PCS members and properly rewards them for their work," he
said.

By Ben Willmott

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