It was in an emergency meeting at noon this Thursday and after more than two years of crisis in the 16 state museums, for failure to hire workers to serve visitors. On one side of the table UGT and CCOO have sat down, and on the other, those responsible for the Ministry of Public Administration with the aim of finding a solution to the greatest crisis of the great museum institutions dependent on the Ministry of Culture. As this newspaper has learned, the agreement consists of notoriously lowering the category of public employees, going from an E4 to an E1, which will allow access to anyone with an ESO graduate or basic professional title. On the other hand, this agreement allows the hiring of the necessary personnel to return the centers to normality.
Crisis in state museums: they have been closed for a year due to lack of security guards
The signing of the IV Single Agreement for the labor personnel of the General State Administration on March 4, 2019 left the room guards in limbo. No one knew where they belonged until today. With this arrangement, permanent staff will not see their salary reduced, but temporary staff will. According to the unions consulted, a hiring of 80 or 90 people is necessary to put an end to the total and partial closure suffered by citizens visiting these museums for more than two years.
They also warn that this principle of agreement initiates a bureaucratic procedure that will not make the hiring possible for several months. In this way, the imminent celebration of International Museum Day, on May 18, is conditioned by the lack of workers that has been dragging on for more than two years.
From 'surveillance' to 'care'
After the signature of the Ministry of Finance, the workers will no longer be "room guards" and their tasks will be called "care in museum rooms". The treatment does not convince the workers consulted by this newspaper due to the loss of projection in the higher categories.
This newspaper discovered a few days ago how citizens who visit the Sorolla museum or the National Archeology Museum they complained about not being able to visit the temporary exhibitions and part of the rooms destined to show the goods of the public collections.
According to the testimonies collected among the workers of the public museums, personnel with leadership and management positions have assumed tasks such as the box office to be able to open the museums and avoid another day of closure. In the summer of 2021, the Ministry of Culture decided to allow free access to all visitors. The ministry proposed it as a measure to attract the public back to museums after a year of pandemic and confinement, but sources from museum workers indicate that the measure served to alleviate the absence of staff at the ticket offices.