The Imperial War Museums (@I_W_M) are preparing to make ‘brave decisions’ to ‘achieve’ a ‘significant reduction’ in ‘fixed costs’. So, good luck to anyone and everyone currently employed by those decision-makers…
Privatisation of public services
Coping with ‘major cuts’, anticipating further (known) cuts of up to 15%, the Imperial War Museums have confirmed that they are planning to privatise their visitor services and security. Yet, if the Imperial War Museums’ Director-General Diane Lees ‘remain[s] confident that the funding gap [will] be closed by… fundraising’, why do they need to reduce their therefore still affordable costs at all?
Moreover, how will they manage to perform a ‘pivotal role’ in the First World War centenary commemorations? They certainly can’t reduce fixed building costs, because they’ve undertaken massive(ly expensive) refurbishment of their buildings precisely in order to be able to lead the commemorations. Perhaps privatisation of their services will lead to the exploitation of zero-hour contracts, as at so many other museums.
Cuts to wages, hours and/or jobs
Evidently, they already plan to reduce their expenditure on salaries from £19.1m in 2013-2014 to £18.8m in 2015-2016, so they must already plan either to impose direct cuts to employees’ income (whether through wages or through hours, which will be compounded by annual price rises of 2%-3%) or to make some workers redundant.
Unsurprisingly, the Imperial War Museums’ collective corporate plan is simultaneously to ‘sustain and build‘ on their existing voluntary workforce.
Visitor services’ volunteer workforce
As we know already, the Imperial War Museum North, at least, will survive and thrive by ‘improving futures‘, enabling ‘volunteering for wellbeing’, taking on so many volunteers that they will increase the entire IWM volunteer workforce (of around 1,000) by more than 20%…
The IWMN ‘aims to create a trained volunteer workforce to support [its] visitor welcome, the audience experience and access to our collections‘ – in other words, its visitor services…