Members took strike action in October in an effort to improve their pay offer for 2019/2020.
Since then, the union has continued to talk to management about finding a financial settlement to resolve the dispute.
In December, the reps and the union’s general secretary, Mike Clancy, met the Museum’s director, Sharon Ament. The director made a ‘goodwill offer’ and a number of other commitments to help end the impasse.
The goodwill offer is for one day’s extra annual leave for all staff (pro-rata for part-time staff) in the 2020 leave year.
The director also agreed to:
- commit to early engagement on the pay negotiations for 2020/21 and a meeting in January 2020
- make the most compelling case possible for an improvement in grant from th Museum’s key funding providers and that part of any improved grant would be used to fund a better pay increase
- consider Prospect’s representations to be allowed to engage with the Remuneration Committee, and particularly that it should be able to make a presentation to the committee on 2020/21 pay
- consider Prospect’s points about making the pay system, process and senior management pay more transparent.
The union’s negotiator Sharon Brown said: “We know that this offer does not meet our original objective. However, taking action has been essential in persuading the museum to make the commitments outlined above.
“We also believe that our negotiating position has been strengthened and that members have demonstrated their willingness to stand up for their right to a fair pay rise.
“We therefore feel that this offer is the best that can be achieved by negotiation in the current circumstances.
“We are asking members to vote to accept the one day’s additional leave for the 2020 leave year in order to end the current dispute.”
The online ballot will close at midday on Wednesday 5 February.
If members vote to reject the offer, a second question will ask if they are prepared to take further strike action before the current industrial action authorisation expires on 28 February.
Brown also said that the union had submitted its pay claim for 2020/21 and will be discussing this with management on 29 January.