National Gallery strike ended as deal agreed, union says

The National Gallery, in London Image copyright PA

A row over the privatisation of some visitor services at London's National Gallery has been resolved, the Public and Commercial Services union has said.

Union members had been on strike for more than 100 days in protest against plans to switch visitor services to a private company.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said he still opposed privatisation, but had been unable to prevent it.

He said the union would now work with the gallery for a "smooth transition".

The union said it had reached an agreement with the gallery and it new contractor, Securitas, over staff terms.

The agreement will also ensure the return to work of a senior union representative, the union added.

"We thank the new director Gabriele Finaldi and the company for their commitment to genuine negotiations," it said in a statement.

Staff will return to work at 09:00 BST on Monday, the union added.

"We still do not believe privatisation was necessary but we will work with the new company and the gallery to ensure a smooth transition and, importantly, to ensure standards are maintained at this world-renowned institution," Mr Serwotka said.

The dispute followed an announcement by the National Gallery to appoint Securitas as its partner to manage some visitor-facing and security staff services - a contract worth £40m over five years.

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