The well-supported action followed news yesterday that one of our senior reps there, and a member of our team in the talks at Acas, had been suspended by senior managers.
In a “disproportionate act of unfathomable bad faith” the gallery suspended Candy Udwin, alleging a breach of commercial confidentiality.
PCS maintains that our reps have a legitimate right to ask officials to raise these questions on what is a matter of strong public interest.
We are asking supporters to sign up to a statement calling for Candy’s suspension to be lifted and for the gallery to re-enter talks in good faith.
Gallery bosses announced plans last year to privatise almost all staff, including those who look after the paintings and help the gallery’s 6 million annual visitors.
Private security firm CIS has taken over the whole of the Sainsbury wing for the rest of this year without any competitive tender or consultation.
Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee has reported that the company had been given the work “to give the gallery staff a fright”.
CIS, which advertises its services as guarding empty buildings and door security, was previously used to cover the Rembrandt exhibition last autumn.
They have also reneged on a promise to introduce the London living wage, meaning the institution is the only major museum or gallery in the capital that does not pay it.
General secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This dispute and the sell-off plan are putting the global reputation of the National Gallery at risk.
“Suspending one of our senior reps on the eve of our strike is a disproportionate act of unfathomable bad faith and not only should she be reinstated immediately, the gallery must commit itself to full and proper negotiations.”
Sign the petition against the sell-off here
Add your name to the statement calling for Candy’s reinstatement here
Follow the campaign on Facebook here