Library and museum staff in Bradford have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in the face of swingeing cuts to the city’s libraries and museums, which could see funding axed by 65 per cent.
Unite, which represents about 50 library and museum staff, said it was expecting to announce strike dates on Wednesday (October 2).
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.
“This ballot result shows just how strongly 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,” said Unite regional officer Mark Martin.
“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, which we expect to announce on Wednesday.
“It is not too late for the council to come to the table for constructive negotiations – Unite’s door is open 24/7 for such talks,” he added.
“The council’s current hardline attitude is in sharp contrast to its aspiration to be UK City of Culture 2025.
“Libraries and museums are an integral part of the city’s social, cultural and educational fabric – and we believe that they are worth fighting for.”