Calgary The members of CUPE local 1645 have grave concerns over a Board of Governors decision yesterday to proceed with staff and service cuts at the Glenbow Museum. As a result of yesterdays meeting staff and service cuts will be announced by museum management on March 18.
The union prepared a detailed submission to the Board for yesterdays meeting including recommendations on a number of alternative ways to address the current budget shortfall. Among them was a proposal to seek increased government funding.
The staff believe that undermining the quality of museum services will only compound the financial difficulties of the museum for the long-term. They have urged the Board to build the museums future rather than compromise it, said CUPE researcher Bonnie Ferguson. Ferguson worked with museum to conduct a survey of the membership and prepare the submission. .
In its submission the union argues. .defending and enhancing high quality museum services is the best assurance of the financial well being of the organization. Our services to the community and visitors from around the world create the respect, and profile necessary to encourage and justify ongoing public and private support. Staff and service cuts will directly undermine our greatest assets.
The survey found that past staff cuts are already seriously jeopardizing the collections and museum services. The union recommended the Board delay its decision to cut staff until a thorough evaluation of the long-term impact of the budget proposals could be undertaken.
The union executive says that while the union does not have full information on the extent of the cuts, neither did the Board have full information on their impacts. The staff are the experts on what is needed to meet public expectations, generate public interest and care for the collections, archives and library resources they say.
CUPE 1645 members are the curators, technicians, conservators, designers, librarians, archivists, communications, educators, visitor services and administrative support employees at the Glenbow museum. Ferguson holds a post-graduate degree in sociology and is an expert in survey research. She
works full-time supporting CUPE members across Alberta.
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, libraries, emergency medical services, social services and casinos. Visit our CUPE websites for more information www.cupe.ca and cupealberta.ab.ca
For further information:
Pam Beattie CUPE Communications
(780) 484-7644 or (780) 288-1230 (cellular)