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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 25 February 2021

National Gallery closed today as staff go on strike

The dispute is based upon leave arrangements and the cutting of some payments to staff.

THE NATIONAL GALLERY of Ireland is closed today as some staff members hold a one day strike.

Room attendants at the gallery and maintenance staff are on strike over a disagreement about leave and pay arrangements.

Sean Rainbird, the director of the National Gallery said the strike action was “regrettable”.

photo 1 (9)

The dispute stems from a Labour Court recommendation about getting rid of certain leave arrangements and cutting some payments to staff. The gallery has said that the payments were no longer sustainable, while SIPTU, which represents the workers, has argued strongly against this.

The management of the gallery has implemented the Labour Court recommendation.

In a statement today the staff said that “the National Gallery has left us with no option but to take strike action today to defend out conditions of work and incomes”.

They claim that management is “unilaterally attempting to withdraw seven days leave from security staff and one day’s premium pay”.

The said this is in breach of Standardisation of Leave agreement within the public sector.

photo 4 (1) Staff on strike outside the National Gallery of Ireland this morning.

Their statement goes on to say that in order to keep the National Gallery open seven days a week staff have to work two weekends out of every three, which they say is “very inconvenient to our members who have families and personal commitments”.

They state that removing the seven days leave compounds “the anti-social effects of regular weekend working”.

Staff say that as security and cleaning staff, they would much prefer to “be at work doing what we do best, that is making it possible for visitors to enjoy the fabulous artisitc wealth in our National Gallery”.

Their statement concludes by saying that today’s strike is the first of what will be a series of one day strikes if a resolution is not agreed upon.

Read: National Gallery to close on Thursday as staff go on strike>

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