THE cultural sector in Scotland's largest city is to see the biggest impact from local authority budget cuts as nearly a third of jobs are under threat at Glasgow Museums and Collections section.

According to the union Unison, some 37 posts, including curators, conservators, outreach assistants, digital photographers and technicians, are to be lost from a total of 128 in an attempt to save £1.5 million. 

Staff whose jobs are under threat said they feared for the future care and preservation of Glasgow's world-renowned museum collections and expressed concern about community access to the arts with a proposed merging of the Open Museum service with museums education.

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Those whose jobs are under threat of redundancy include staff who worked through the pandemic to ensure the re-opening of the famous Burrell Collection in Pollok Park. 

One said: "The Museum conservation department is being reduced by 40%. 

"This will result in a loss of skills, knowledge and essential care of Glasgow’s world-renowned museum collections. Public programmes will be vastly reduced as a result. 

"The conservation team worked throughout lockdown, successfully delivering the refurbished Burrell Collection on time. 

"Future exhibitions and displays will require the increased use of private conservation contractors at a substantial additional cost to the city in order to maintain the high profile that Glasgow Museums presently enjoys."

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Another staff member said: "Cuts to the learning team will mean that free facilitated weekend activities for families - especially welcomed in this time of cost of living crises - will be greatly reduced, and successful dementia and autism friendly programming and programmes of Interfaith dialogue, so important in such times of division, will be put at risk.”

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Christopher Robertson, Unison Glasgow Life convenor, added: "We need politicians in this city who will stand up for Glasgow Life services, not pass on the funding attacks from the Scottish and UK Governments.  

"Our museums need more investment, as do many other Glasgow Life venues and services, not less.  

"We call on Glasgow City Councillors to reverse these cuts to our museums and collections."

In July 2021, three trade unions lodged a formal collective grievance over potential job cut at Glasgow Life, the arm's-length body that runs libraries, museums and sports centres on behalf of Glasgow City Council.

The organisation has reported losses of £38 million during the pandemic and had therefore announced plans to cut 500 jobs but Unison, GMB and Unite responded by saying Glasgow Life had failed to properly consult staff about the plans.

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: “Glasgow’s collection receives careful and considered care and this is going to continue.

"The savings Glasgow Life is making this year adds up to around nine per cent of the annual service fee it receives from Glasgow City Council.

"The plans agreed in February ensure we will not have to close any venues.

"Wherever possible we have identified ways of making savings by reducing, rather than losing, Glasgow Life services, programmes and events; retaining the potential to rebuild them in the future.”