In a first for Scotland’s cinema sector, famed independent the Glasgow Film Theatre has announced a landmark union recognition agreement with Unite.
The recognition agreement, which covers staff working in GFT’s licensed front of house and cleaning teams, will formalise collective bargaining and negotiation on their pay and relevant workplace policies.
The agreement will also give GFT staff a greater say in future changes to working conditions and benefits. This builds on the GFT’s existing progressive employment practices which include a longstanding commitment to paying the real Living Wage, guaranteed minimum hours, and harmonised sick pay.
The Cosmo – later to become Glasgow Film Theatre in 1974 – opened in 1939 as Scotland’s first independent arthouse cinema. 84 years on, it now operates as an educational charity, and remans a favourite with the public.
Chief executive Allison Gardner said: “We are delighted to have finalised this agreement with Unite on behalf of our staff. The GFT recognise the benefits that an engaged staff, with collective voice, will bring to Glasgow Film as we continue to navigate challenging and uncertain times together as a team.”
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said: “Following months of positive negotiations between our Unite reps and GFT management, we are delighted to agree collective bargaining at one of the country’s leading cultural institutions. This is a landmark agreement which is already producing positive impacts on the jobs, pay and conditions of our members. The GFT is not only one of the best cinemas in the country to visit, but also work for following this exciting development in the sector.”
Unite’s Rep at GFT, Katie Mack, added: “We believe that it is crucial to have official recognition of our right to collectively bargain as a workforce, and we are pleased that Glasgow Film Theatre has chosen to respect our decision to organise with Unite the Union. This decision will help to ensure that we maintain a positive and respectful work environment moving forward.”