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> Culture And Sport Glasgow Strike?, Update: CSG has been rebranded 'Glasgow Life'
GG
post 28th Feb 2010, 11:34pm
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Beleaguered bosses at the company which controls the management of the city's museums, libraries, community centres and sports venues could further lose the confidence of their staff after it was announced that unions are to ballot members for strike action. The ballot was announced at a mass meeting of 600 Culture and Sport Glasgow* (CSG) staff last Thursday, when the assembled staff considered the devastating impact of a range of dramatic cuts in pay and conditions for already low-paid wokers.

The move towards possible strike action, which could affect access to to the city's top tourist venues such as the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Burrell Collection, comes after details of an internal company report showed that only a small proportion of staff have confidence in the company's senior management team. The same report revealed concerns amongst staff that senior management – some of whom take home six-figure salaries – lacked the vison and skills to make the company successful.

Culture and Sport Glasgow's management proposals include a pay freeze, payment of all overtime at single time, and the removal of six public holidays as premium payment days. In addition, staff are expected to absorb losses of up to 1500 per year from their paypackets as the opening hours of a number of CSG-managed venues (including museums and sports centres) are cut.

Unions have expressed concerns that when the company was set up by Glasgow City Council in 2007, staff were told that the company's charity status would result in massive savings in VAT, while also allowing it to secure millions of pounds of investment from private sources. Unions say that the private investment has never materialised, and, rather than increase the amount of money for culture and sport in the city, the move has resulted in a 3.4 million cut in funding to community, education, sporting and culture services by a council whose councillors – it is claimed – fail to show up at crucial CSG board meetings.

Unions also say that it is unacceptable that staff should be asked to lose 1.7m from the wage bill when CSG had admitted to spending 1.2m on consultants in the past 12 months, as well as other non-esssential expenditures such as 50,000 on a recently re-designed company logo.

Paul McManus, of trade union Bectu,
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"There was absolute outrage at the hypocrisy of Glasgow City Council, management of CSG and the way in which councillors have abandoned employees despite promises that CSG would be millions of pounds better off through its creation."

Bill Kidd, SNP MSP for Glasgow, speaking with regard to the closure of a local boxing club, said:
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"Along with the announcement to close Knightswood Swimming Pool, the closure of the Argo at Dunkenny in Drumchapel is a sign that Culture and Sport has lost sight of its remit when we hear at the same time that it has wasted 50,000 paying private consultants for a new logo for its headed notepaper."

A spokesman for Culture and Sport Glasgow said:
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"The harsh reality is that we must find savings of 3.4m in the next year. No staff will lose any core salary as a result of these measures – but if they are not implemented and money is not saved, then we will be forced to look at job cuts."


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donaldanderson
post 1st Mar 2010, 04:28am
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Wouldn't Mrs MacConnell and cronies love to blame the SNP?
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Rob Rattray
post 1st Mar 2010, 04:52am
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Industrial action never got anyone anywhere; Sure it's all to blame the hierarchy when they are able to keep bread on their tables so why can't they take the cut in lieu of the 'lower-class'? Greed, that's why! And the sooner they learn the better, but this can be obtained WITHOUT undue action that could cause permanent loss of jobs. I'd sooner forsake a few bob and keep my job! One can see the time when all folk WILL live amicably, can't one?


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*Guest*
post 1st Mar 2010, 08:13am
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The debacle that is rapidly engulfing Culture and Sport Glasgow is a very serious concern, not just for the workers of the agency, but for the economic future of Glasgow. This city's future development is reliant on a vibrant, successful cultural and sporting infrastructure. If the current board at CSG is unable - or unwilling - to engender and promote a culture of success then it should be removed with the same short shrift it appears to have for the workforce.
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*Harry Greenwod*
post 1st Mar 2010, 10:29am
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Before this becomes a matter of Union bashing and partisan rambling, I state that my comments are based solely on the text of the story as presented. The top of the pyramid is only as secure as its base and here the base is very clearly the staff who are diligent and have only come to this decision which may result in strike action against the Culture and Sport Organization, mainly because of the incompetence of an inept body of governance and management. It is time to weed out the overpaid bureaucrats at the top and do due diligence.
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fronswa
post 1st Mar 2010, 05:48pm
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QUOTE (Rob Rattray @ 1st Mar 2010, 04:50am) *
Industrial action never got anyone anywhere;

Never?

Workplaces with a union present are higher paid, have better benefits of employment, and have better working conditions.
Sometimes that's achieved through strike, or the threat of strike.
I'm not saying unions are all hunky dory, no siree, but it's better than no union.

I used to get angry at people striking when I found out what they were getting paid in the first place, but then I realised that I was just bitter because the job I had was poorly paid.
It's as if I was saying, "Well I'm getting a crap deal here, so everyone else should too".
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ricky1824
post 1st Mar 2010, 09:30pm
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QUOTE (Rob Rattray @ 1st Mar 2010, 04:50am) *
Industrial action never got anyone anywhere; Sure it's all to blame the hierarchy when they are able to keep bread on their tables so why can't they take the cut in lieu of the 'lower-class'? Greed, that's why! And the sooner they learn the better, but this can be obtained WITHOUT undue action that could cause permanent loss of jobs. I'd sooner forsake a few bob and keep my job! One can see the time when all folk WILL live amicably, can't one?

Exscuse me Rob if I disagree Industrial Action is the only tool the working people have left in the armoury their teeth have been pulled by governments gradually over the last four decades.
On the subject of the galleries if the organisation who control it aren't coping then there has to be a review of working practices at the top if saving money is the issue then cutting salaries has to start with the big earners .
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**Harry Greenwood**
post 2nd Mar 2010, 05:02am
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For anyone to suggest that industrial action brings no results is to deny the very existance of the progress that workers and others have made in the last century. The Trade Union movement defined the growth in the economy of the leading World nations, the US, Uk, Canada, Germany, France et al, by keeping checks and balances on these nations' business, development and socoal programmes. Scotland has certainly been a benefactor in the stability of Union jobs. The economic downturns we have witnessed in the past year and the looming recession is not the fault of worker's militancy but caused by the greed of industrial moguls, banks and weak govenment actions, allowing the propensity of trade to be carried to low wage countries and denying standards of living that were once enjoyed by an educated and productive society. Scotland is the Mouseland of myth where the people believe that by getting rid of the Government of big Black Cats and replacing it with a Government of big White Cats will result in changing the fortunes of its people. Nothing is further from the truth unless Industrial Democracy is attained in a stabalized workplace.
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stratson
post 2nd Mar 2010, 11:47am
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Sorry wrong topic.


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*Backcauseway*
post 2nd Mar 2010, 12:05pm
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I wonder if private sports companies and/or organisations might take on Tollcross/Gorbals and Scotstoun Leisure Centres? Run them on a 5 or 10 year contract and let the rest of culture & leisure do its own thing. Will payment be introduced at the new transport museum and Kelvingrove?
Privitisation of municiple owned properties. After all the current Labour administration have "sort of" privitised city building, city property and culture & leisure. Wonder what the old councillors on the Corporation must be thinking. If the Tories had done it there would have been demos in the streets.
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Alex Saville
post 2nd Mar 2010, 06:53pm
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Bridget McConnell, boss of Culture & Sport, is on 132,000 a year. Her and Jack (You do know Jack, dont you?) are doing all right with Labour.
Of course, if the unions didn't make donations to Labour because of their Anti-Union stance things would be better, for the members.
If they also asked their members not to vote Labour, that would concentrate Labour minds wonderfully.
Not much chance of that, though, is there?
A spokesman for Purcell is quoted in todays 'Times' as saying that 'He hopes the people of Glasgow will appreciate what he has tried to do for the city he loves.'
Since Purcell is the architect of all the labour relations problems at the Council, the prime mover of Culture & Sport, the hammer who nailed the Land & Environmental employees onto new shifts for less pay, not much love shown there!
Come the local elections the Employees of the Council should vote with their feet and vote Labour out. Their motto should be 'MY ENEMIES ENEMY IS MY FRIEND!'
Alex
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Mathieson
post 2nd Mar 2010, 09:07pm
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Bridget's single biggest "success" seems to have been to permit folk to scribble obscenities on a bible. Well worth her big fat pay packet I would have thought.

The saddest and most inevitable thing about the council cuts that will hit practically all councils, not just Glasgow, is that it will be workers on low incomes doing real, necessary jobs who will get paid off. The career people in obscure jobs with the most fantastic job descriptions imaginable (and salaries to match) will no doubt still be there after the cuts draining valuable resources. You could bet your bottom dollar on it.


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Patter Merchant
post 4th Mar 2010, 12:52pm
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Couldn't agree with you more Mathieson -- it is the real workers who will be shafted during the (so we are told by a biased press) looming cutbacks, while lazy useless pen-pushers sit around drinking tea and conspiring to protect their own cushy jobs.

Meanwhile our community centres, swimming pools, sports clubs and libraries will shut, our streets will turn into open middens, vulnerable people will go to the wall, and all kinds of frontline services will disappear.
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TeeHeeHee
post 4th Mar 2010, 04:49pm
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As with any failing team, at the end of the season the trainer or manager is replaced. Cutting the players to the bone is not the answer.


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GG
post 6th Mar 2010, 09:07am
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On a Culture and Sport Glasgow related point...

It was announced this week that CSG is to hire out the city's most cherised cultural asset, Salvador Dali’s iconic Christ of St John of the Cross, to an American museum for 5,000 per month. The painting, which was recently voted Scotland's favourite by a public poll, will be shipped to the High Museum in Atlanta from August 7th this year, returning on January 2nd 2011.


When the painting comes back to Glasgow it will be moved to an improved site in the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery after criticism of its current position in Scotland's most visited attraction.

Bailie Liz Cameron, chairwoman of CSG, commented:

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"Christ of St John of the Cross will be the star attraction at this major exhibition in one of the United States' most important cultural institutions. In exchange for loaning one of our cultural gems, we will learn more about this outstanding work and look forward to its return, when it will be hung elsewhere in Kelvingrove, allowing its majesty to be truly appreciated."

However, members of the local cultural community have responded angrily to the news, with one renowned art critic and former director of Glasgow’s galleries and museums, Julian Spalding, claiming that the hiring-out amounted to "prostituting art". Mr Spalding added:

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I am not against museums earning money from the richness of their collections, but earning money from the stars is a different sort of matter. The Louvre lent to Atlanta, but they lent stuff that was basically from their stores. They didn’t lend the Mona Lisa.

Besides the lending fee of 25,000, Culture and Sport Glasgow also hopes the city's ownership of the copyright to the work will allow the company to benefit from associated merchandising opportunities while on display in America.

GG.


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