National Library staff threaten motion of no confidence

THE NATIONAL Library of Wales staff have threatened a motion of no confidence over the Library’s management due to pay grievances.

The National Library of Wales - Visit Wales

The National Library of Wales – Visit Wales

This move comes after the recent reveal that two members of the Library’s executive board were given responsibility allowances which equalled a 10% payment, with a third members said to be being processed. Unions have stated that workers have not had a consolidated pay rise since 2009, another reason for the threatened no confidence vote. It has also been claimed by Prospect Cymru and the Public and Commercial Service Union (PCS) that some staff do not earn living wage.

The Unions and Library management are due to have meetings in June to discuss the matter.

A spokesman from Prospect Cymru stated that the 170 members felt the Library’s management were not treating all the staff equally, and also questioned the transparency of the managements decision making. The spokesman also stated they were unable to support the recent pay offer in February as it did not deliver a living wage. However, they are meeting early on in June to discuss last weeks improved pay offer.

‘Lack of judgement’

Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru AM for Ceredigion, who has previously lobbied the Welsh Government for more funding to go to the National Library reacted to this news with the following:

“These are difficult times for the Library, which has faced challenging funding settlements for several years.

“In times such as these, when most employees have not enjoyed a pay rise since 2009, it’s essential that pay structures are transparent and fair to all. This is not a time for top management to see high pay increases when no similar changes and increases are offered to the rest of the staff.

“I will do what I can to work with National Library management and unions to reach a sensible solution to this problem.”

A spokesman from PCS stated the library’s decision has angered members and described it as a “serious lack of judgement”. Also stating that: “The library should address these basic pay issues in conjunction with Welsh government before dealing with executive pay.”

The Library’s chief executive Mr. Gruffydd Jones acknowledged they were aware of the dissatisfaction among some union members, including matters of living wage and restrucutring. He also stated that the library has faced an income reduction of £1.2 million over two years.

This comes after the appeal from Mr. Jones in December last year for money from the public to alleviate the cuts from Welsh Government grants.