STAFF at York's National Railway Museum took part in a second round of strikes today (Friday) in a dispute over pay.

Prospect union members in the Science Museum Group (SMG), which runs the National Railway Museum (NRM), are taking industrial action which included a 24-hour strike today. Members also took action over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The Press reported in July that Prospect Union members agreed to launch industrial action over a below-inflation pay rise of 1.5 per cent, claiming they had suffered a 13 per cent real-terms pay cut since 2010.

Staff members stood outside the railway museum yesterday with placards calling for “fair play”.

The union argues that salary growth for senior management has vastly outstripped that of 'median' staff. It says that between 2014 and 2018 the average full-time employee salary at SMG grew by 1.6 per cent per year, while the director’s salary grew by 5.5 per cent.

Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy said: “The Science Museum Group has some of the highest-profile museums in the country and as beacons of human progress it is ludicrous that they don’t pay all their workers enough to live on. Our members in SMG love their jobs but they cannot carry on with year after year of real-terms pay cuts and that is why they felt they had no option but to strike.

“I’m sure that most of the million or so people visiting SMG museums this summer will be astounded at how poorly its staff are paid, especially when they see that the director’s pay has increased by a third in just four years and his bonus alone last year was more than some workers earn in total.

“It is clear from the accounts that SMG can afford to pay a reasonable wage. It’s time for management to sort this out.”

A NRM spokesman said: “Our pay offer included a 6.9 per cent increase for the lowest-paid employees as part of a settlement that saw all employees receive an increase of at least 1.5 per cent. Overall the settlement represents a 2.7 per cent increase in salary costs which we believe was a reasonable offer, given the challenging overall financial picture.”