A recently created petition on changer.org focuses on the Dalí Museum in Saint Petersburg.
The petition, created by a user called Innocent Bystander, is titled Shame on You, Dalí Museum and demands that former employees return to their jobs. He adds that the museum has laid off some employees after receiving a loan from the federal paycheck protection program.
“The Dali Museum, a local St. Pete institution since 1982, recently laid off many local staff after taking a large sum of PPP money intended to help ‘small businesses’ retain their employees for and into the next day. of the COVID-19 pandemic, while retaining the highly paid senior management, ”the petition reads.
“Despite its stated mission of serving” … our community and the world at large, “the museum has caused serious financial harm (including families who lose health insurance in the midst of a pandemic) to these former employees who worked tirelessly – some 7 days a week, some without overtime pay – to see the museum go through its temporary closure forced by the pandemic and move it to fully online programs and exhibits while it is closed. We Say Shame to you and demand that these employees get back to making a living… yes, even if that means cutting big top management salaries. ”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition had 270 signatures, with a goal of 500.
The Tampa Bay weather contacted the Dalí Museum for comments. He published the following statement in an email:
“It has been an unprecedented and difficult experience for the Dalí Museum, as it has been for everyone around the world. Since our main source of income is tours, the 14-week closure during the pandemic had a significant financial impact – especially during the height of the tourist season.
The Dalí was able to maintain all of his staff at full pay from their own operating budget for four weeks after the shutdown while also applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. The Museum received the loan and worked with our bank and external CPA legal advisors to follow all guidelines associated with the funding. The loan was used to cover the full salary of all Museum employees for an additional eight weeks, although it remained closed with no income coming in. Like most of the businesses that received the loan, the PPP funding allowed us to retain all of our staff longer than we could otherwise.
After the P3 period, we retained over 80% of our staff and then resumed paying retained employees with our own funds while working on a reopening strategy. Retained staff suffered a pay cut and senior executives suffered a larger percentage cut.
Most of the reduction in Museum spending was achieved through reductions in operational spending. The Dalí has cut non-staff costs by almost half and is operating on minimal budgets to retain as many staff as possible despite the difficult financial forecast. Where possible, we have rehired employees from eliminated positions and placed them in other areas where positions were vacant.
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We are determined to reinvent ourselves in the spirit of Dalí himself, to remain a dynamic institution, a pride for the community in this new era and beyond.
The museum will reopen to the public on July 1 with new hours and security measures. Customers will purchase timed tickets and will only be able to listen to audio tours on their smartphones through the Dalí app. Café Gala will open with a limited menu.