Library and museum staff in Bradford will strike for 14 days this autumn over swingeing cuts to the city’s 14 libraries and museums, which could see funding axed by 65 per cent.
Unite, which represents about 50 library and museum staff, announced the strike dates today (October 1).
The first two day strike will be on October 21 and 22 and then there will be a three day strike on November 5, 6 and 7. This will be followed by a four day stoppage between November 18 and 21 inclusively and a five day strike on December 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 . All the strikes will start at 00.01.
This follows Unite members voting by 77 per cent for strike action and 94 per cent for industrial action short of a strike in defence of the library and museum service.
Unite has charted a decade of cuts to libraries and museums by the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council – the latest £950,000 for the year starting April 2019 and a further £1,050,000 earmarked from April 2020.
Unite regional officer Mark Martin said, “The 14 days of strike action throughout the autumn we have announced today are a very strong shot across the council’s bows.
“It is a wake-up call for the council to come to the table for constructive negotiations – Unite’s door is open 24/7 for such talks,” she added.
“The number of strike days demonstrates how passionately our members feel about the swingeing cuts that the council is hell-bent on forcing through which could see funding for this service axed by 65 per cent.
“We have had great and heart-warming support from members of the Bradford public and the surrounding areas. We are confident that this support will continue during the forthcoming strikes,” Martin went on to say.
“The council’s failure to engage with Unite is in sharp contrast to its aspiration to be UK City of Culture 2025.
“Libraries and museums remain an integral part of the city’s social, cultural and educational fabric – and we continue to believe that they are worth fighting for.”