Chch Art Gallery cuts five staff

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 05:00 02/05/2012
art

DELAYED: The Christchurch Art Gallery expects to re-open in mid-2013.

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The Christchurch Art Gallery proposes to make the equivalent of about five fulltime staff redundant.

The gallery employs the equivalent of 45 fulltime staff but is reviewing staffing levels as it prepares to face more than a year without its central-city building. The gallery will not reopen until next year to allow earthquake repairs to be completed.

The 17 people affected by the proposed redundancies, many of whom are part-time, are being consulted, and a decision will be made on May 14.

Gallery director Jenny Harper said four positions made vacant in the past year had not been filled as a further staff-cutting measure.

"We are obviously going to be closed for a lot longer. We are not offering a full range of services, particularly in the exhibition area. There are some things we simply can't do when we don't have access to our gallery building."

Staff moved back into the gallery last week to prepare for a move to temporary premises in June. Repairs are expected to take up to a year, and it will take at least three more months to prepare for a public reopening.

Harper said the Outer Spaces art programme would continue, along with education work and exhibitions at the NG Gallery.

"Many services are still being offered ... but those which are building-dependent cannot be to the same degree when we vacate this building for repair work some time after the end of June."

Two of the positions affected were on secondment to the Christchurch City Council and seven of the positions were part-time staff with no fixed hours.

"Many, if not all, of these people have not had employment with [the gallery] since February 22 last year. In this sense, a considerable proportion of what is proposed is changing a structure that had coped with a large range of after-hours events, etc, held at the gallery but not needed at present," Harper said.

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- The Press

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