#High5Heritage!

On November 25th, the day of the much-anticipated and feared Spending Review, Prospect reps received the surprising and welcome news that the Library will see no cash reduction in Grant in Aid to 2010-21.

Having anticipated 25-40% cuts, this was infinitely better than expected, though in real terms (once inflation is taken into account) it still amounts to a reduction of about 10% over the next five years, on top of the big cuts of the last 5 years.

The Branch would like to take this opportunity to thank all Prospect members, reps and staff, Library readers and supporters, and members of the public who, over the last few years, have taken part in the campaign against cuts to the Library and other heritage organisations by joining demonstrations, talking to friends and contacts, being active on social media, helping with leafleting campaigns, speaking at conferences and writing to their MPs. Everything has helped and your help has been really appreciated. The work done by Prospect has been recognised by BL management and highlighted at recent staff talks, where the High5heritage Twitter campaign received a particular name check.

Locally, the Branch will continue to engage with management to make sure that the outcome of the Spending Review brings benefits to members’ pay, terms and conditions.

There has never been a more important time to be a member of a Union, and there has never been a time when its benefits and influence have been more apparent.

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#High5heritage

Today’s the day! – Please support Britain’s national library, its museums and other heritage organisations by tweeting a selfie tagged #high5heritage and copying it to @prospectunion.

The Library and other organisations are threatened with cuts of up to 40% in the forthcoming Spending Review. Coming on top of the 30% inflicted between 2010 and 2015, this will do untold damage. It also makes no economic sense – for every pound invested, heritage organisations generate £5 in the UK economy.

The current government places great value on the creative industries, and we are asking friends and users of the BL to send a clear message to Treasury that this is inconsistent with further cuts. It’s easy! Just take your selfie (you don’t even need to show your face!) and tweet away.

Let’s get the message trending if we can!

HighFive-05

Are you registered to vote?

As you know, on 7 May there is a general election (and some local elections). Whilst Prospect will not endorse any political parties, we can encourage our members and allies to vote.

The new system means YOU have to register individually at the Government Register To Vote website for people in England, Scotland and Wales, and at the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland for people in Northern Ireland.

And you only have until 20 April to register – that’s this coming Monday.

So please, if you haven’t already, please register to vote!

And consider having a look at the Prospect General Election site to see how different parties have responded to the Prospect Policy Pledge…

More pension issues

Members – and retired members – are lucky if they have not noticed the recent problems with MyCSP, the government’s administrator for the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

Whether seeking accurate figures for a Voluntary Exit compensation payment; a timely payment of pension after retirement; or simply an annual statement of pension expectations, British Library staff have encountered inaccuracies and delays on an unprecedented scale. The problems in other organisations have been still worse.

Prospect HQ is pursuing all the assorted problems with MyCSP itself, and with the Cabinet Office.

MyCSP is a flagship for the government’s favored mutual model, being partly owned by staff, by government and by the private sector. The problems have been engendered by the huge body of work currently underway to move staff into the new Alpha scheme, but this fact is no comfort to people who expect to be paid on time, or who have important decisions riding on receipt of accurate information.

As ever, members who are experiencing problems should raise these with a local rep, so that the cases can be escalated, with the most serious being taken to the Cabinet Office itself.