As their strike enters its 13th week, museum workers are hopeful that a deal will be reached before Christmas.
Negotiators with the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corp. have been meeting since Friday to attempt to bring an end to the strike, which is now in its 85th day.
There is a blackout of the status of the negotiations, but PSAC national president John Gordon said he’s hopeful something positive will come out of them.
Yesterday, the 420 striking employees from the Canadian War Museum and the Canadian Museum of Civilization held a rally at the Bronson Centre in support of culture and the arts.
“It’s not all about the strike,” said Gordon. “The cuts that have been happening are destroying culture and the arts.”
That the strike has gone on for so long — since Sept. 21 — shows arrogance on behalf of the administration, said Douglas Cardinal, the architect who designed the Canadian Museum of Civilization.
“We had to combine 16 museums into one, so I had to work very closely with the staff to develop a vision for the museum,” he said. “All of the people here deserve respect because they created it. It’s the staff that created it. That’s the legacy of the museum.”
On Friday, the museum corporation released a statement saying it is “hopeful that this strike will end soon — perhaps as early as Monday. This would make possible a paycheque for employees on Dec. 23.”
The main sticking points for negotiators have been over the contracting-out of services and job security.
Julie Hughes, textiles curator with the Museum of Civilization, said they want to ensure that experts are maintained by the museum corporation.