National Gallery of Canada: Bookstore, or bonuses?

OTTAWA, Dec. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - Why would the National Gallery seek to privatize their popular Bookstore, given it generates 26% of Gallery revenue?

Why would the National Gallery pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses to managers, while they continue to lay-off staff and run a deficit?

These are just some of the questions asked of National Gallery Director Marc Mayer and Board of Trustees, during the third annual public meeting of the National Gallery held Monday, December 7th.

During these difficult economic times, which have reduced the Gallery's attendance, how can the National Gallery justify paying these large bonuses and privatizing a major source of Gallery revenue?

Equally disturbing is the mounting number of layoffs at the National Gallery. In September, 12 workers, including all the educator guides received lay-off notices. If the book store is privatized, 9 more workers will lose their jobs. This is a significant loss for the Gallery; one which will impact their ability to deliver their mandate of making the Gallery's collections accessible to all Canadians.

The loss of the popular educator guides is especially troubling, given their critical role in delivering educational programs and making art accessible and relevant to the public. In fact, a study commissioned by the National Gallery found that: "clearly the tour guide is the single greatest factor in the success of the school tour". Why then would this single greatest factor be eliminated?

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is the union representing employees at the National Gallery of Canada. PSAC, our members at the National Gallery and concerned citizens are opposed to the privatization of the bookstore, the mounting layoffs and continued payment of bonuses to management. We call upon the Director, Marc Mayer, and the National Gallery Board of Trustees to reverse these decisions and work with us in building a positive future for the National Gallery and its workforce.


For further information: For further information: Alain Cossette, PSAC Communications, (613) 293-9210

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