Strike threat leads to an about-turn at South Bank Centre

London’s South Bank Centre has withdrawn its threat to derecognise the unions and is now in talks about new terms and conditions for staff at the arts venue.

In May, Personnel Today exclusively reported that Mike Morris, the South Bank’s HR director, had threatened to terminate recognition if the PCS and Amicus unions failed to negotiate a new deal by 15 July.

But following union plans to hold a ballot for industrial action, Morris has now backed down and agreed to return to the negotiating table.

Ryan Rogers, PCS representative at the South Bank, said the management’s tone was far more conciliatory.

“We are in the process of thrashing out a new deal with management and until then the existing terms and conditions stand,” he said. But he added that levels of trust between the two sides had “taken a hit”.

Mike Morris was unavailable for interview, but a South Bank spokeswoman confirmed that the centre was in discussions
with unions over new terms and conditions.

“There is no question of derecognising the unions,” she said.

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