Unite the union has hailed victory in the dispute at Bromley Central Library over late night openings with fewer staff.

Talks this week with the employer social enterprise Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) has led to an agreement that, instead of working up to four late nights a fortnight, library staff will work one late night a week.

The strike action that the 17 staff, members of Unite, had voted unanimously for and was due to start on 14 June, now won’t go ahead.

Unite said that GLL had previously reduced staffing after a restructuring exercise – but then asked staff to work an increased number of late nights at the library.

While Unite members had welcomed increased library opening hours, the union had argued that such changes must be properly resourced, so as not to adversely impact on the work/life balance of its members.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This is another important win for Bromley’s Unite members.

“We fully support increased opening hours as we want the maximum access to this vital service for all sections of the community. However, this can only be done with appropriate resourcing and by mutual agreement.

“In addition, we have won arrangements for those with caring responsibilities.

“We are delighted that an agreement has been reached which also allows for a mechanism to be in place to resolve any future problems that may arise.  We wish to work constructively with GLL over library management in the future.

“I would like to pay tribute to our members and, in particular, to Unite branch secretary Kathy Smith who has once again led her members to victory.”

The resolution of this latest dispute follows the eight-month strike by 50 library staff working in the borough’s 14 libraries over such issues as pay progression and staff structuring which ended in January 2020.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.