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Royal Society of Arts staff strike for first time in organisation's history

ROYAL Society of Arts (RSA) staff have carried out strikes for the first time in the organisation’s 270-year history. 

Members of the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) walked out on Tuesday and Thursday.

Labour MP John McDonnell and Green Party deputy leader Zack Polanski were among speakers on the picket line outside the charity’s London headquarters, calling on the RSA to meet their workers’ demands for fair pay.

The union said staff are demanding a below-inflation flat pay rise of £2,800 for all staff members, but the RSA have refused to move from their initial offer of £1,000 for all staff, averaging at a 2.5 per cent increase across the board.

“The strikes which took place this week forced the RSA to cancel a number of events including a bicentenary medal ceremony celebrating 100 years of the RSA Student Design Awards, which was due to be attended by Princess Anne,” a spokesman added.

A spokesman for the RSA said: “We care about our staff deeply and are very mindful of the consequences people face with the current economic situation.

“As such, on April 1, we awarded an across-the-board salary increase of at least £1,000 for all staff below director level.

“Our minimum salary for all staff has been increased to £25,500 which is well in excess of the London Living Wage.”


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