CALGARY – The union representing staff at the Glenbow museum announced today that twenty-six front line staff have been issued layoff notices. CUPE National Representative Sanford Lee said that employees at the museum put together a comprehensive package of alternatives to the layoffs which were ‘rudely dismissed by the museum President.’
“Instead of working together to find alternatives to cutting front line staff, the museum has proceeded with plans to cut services and put people out of work,” said Lee.
Lee said the union’s proposals included more aggressive marketing and fundraising, reductions in the management structure (there is currently 1 manager for every 7 front line employees) and a reduction in professional and consultant fees more in line with other cultural institutions.
“Glenbow has reduced front line employees repeatedly over the years, while the management and bureaucracy have grown,” said Lee. “Incredibly, the ratio of managers to staff just got even lower with these layoffs because once again – the front office remains immune to their own cost cutting.”
Lee said the union’s research found that number of managers and level of executive compensation at Glenbow is considerably higher than the norm at other non-profit cultural institutions.
“While revenues at the museum have dropped, the reaction from the executive wing is to keep feathering their own nests, and cut programs and front line staff to pay for it,” said Lee.
A copy of the union’s alternative proposals is available upon request.