#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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Heritage needs a pay rise

British Library Branch was well-P1050891represented at the TUC’s “Britain Needs a Pay Rise” march on Saturday October 18th. There were Committee members and ordinary members from both London and Boston Spa Sections present to march in the Prospect delegation from Embankment to Hyde Park Corner, where assorted General Secretaries gave speeches about social inequality and the need to reward workers fairly in all sectors of society (no, folks, unions are NOT just about the public sector!).

Despite the gloomy subject-matter, there was, as eP1050886ver, a carnival atmosphere, and some witty banners and placards on display.

What will it achieve? you might ask. Well, we all had a good time! More seriously, these marches have some effect in raising public awareness that the much-vaunted “economic recovery” is not being felt at grass roots level. And they inspire people who attend and leave them with a sense that they are not alone, and can continue the fight, reinvigorated.

So watch this sP1050890pace!

Come outside and join us!

It’s a mild and sunny day here in London, and the British Library is very busy with readers and with other visitors who are enjoying the wonderful new exhibition “Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination”.

Members of the Branch Committee and other Prospect members are standing outside on the Euston Road right now handing out leaflets to the public as they pass, highlighting the ongoing funding cuts which put both treasures and expertise at risk.

We hope to see you all there soon!

A big week for public sector staff

It’s an important week in public services. As political parties start to think ahead to the election, we public service staff are keen to let the world know what’s been happening in our workplaces, and to send a definite message to government and public that things cannot continue this way. The scale of the cuts inflicted on our organisations have left services at a tipping point and staff shell-shocked and demoralised.

Three public sector strikes have already taken place this week. Prospect members were not asked to participate in these, but the union is stepping up its ongoing campaign of using other means to publicise the problems.

Tomorrow – Friday October 17th Library members and reps will be leafletting on the Euston Road outside the Library’s St Pancras site, for the fourth time. This will last from 12 to 2pm, and all members are encouraged to donate their lunch breaks to come and take part

This will be followed by a strong Branch and national presence at the TUC rally on October 18th. Called “Britain needs a pay rise”, it focusses on the plight of innumerable people, in both public and private sectors, who have watched their standards of living erode even as salaries at the top of the corporate sector have increased exponentially.

Prospect has produced some strong arguments for why working people need a pay rise – and you can also view a video of Mike Clancy, General Secretary, too.

If you are not yet a member of Prospect, you can join here today! Don’t delay! Make your voice heard!