Calgary Members of CUPE Local 1645 brought the museum outside today to demonstrate the importance of public access to museum collections. Dressed in costumes from recent museum exhibits, the CUPE members distributed postcards, leaflets and posters as part of their campaign to increase provincial funding for Albertas museums.
Today we are bringing our collections directly to the public to let them know whats inside and whats at risk because of inadequate provincial funding, says CUPE 1645 president Karin Richardson. We believe these collections belong to everyone and the provincial government has a responsibility to makes sure the collections are maintained and accessible to the public.
Provincial government legislation requires annual funding for the Glenbow. Currently, the contribution is only $2.563 million of the $5.4 million annual operating expenses.
Provincial government support is continually diminishing because it is not indexed for inflation, says Richardson. This year we have higher admissions fees to the museum, higher user fees for curatorial research, reduced programming and reduced public hours. Without additional funding, there is the risk of further cuts which will drastically restrict the services staff can provide, says Richardson.
CUPE Local 1645 members have distributed over 2,000 postcards addressed to the Premier since March. Today they passed out another 1,000 cards. The cards urge the Premier to increase funding to Albertas museums.
Local 1645 members include curators, designers, librarians, archivists, public and school programmers, security, marketing, communications and administrative support employees. With a web based letter writing campaign, (www.cupe1645.org) distribution of the postcards by putting up posters around town, the union is determined to spread the word on the importance of government funding for museum services.
CUPE is Canada’s largest union with over half a million women and men who provide public services. In Alberta, CUPEs 31,000 members work in health care, municipalities, schools, colleges, universities, museums, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and www.cupealberta.ab.ca
For further information:
(780) 484-7644 or (780) 288-1230 (cellular)