At the civic museums of the Municipality of Milan, the battle for the Federculture contract in the procurement

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The basic union, Usb, has called a new strike of the workers of Società Cooperativa Culture which operates in a temporary joint venture with Dussmann for the supplementary custodian service of the museum premises. These are around 180 people, employed under different types of contracts (fixed-term, permanent, on-call), but all under the national Multiservice collective agreement. Usb requests that the Federculture Contract be applied because it responds more adequately to the type of work carried out and offers better economic conditions and regulatory protection.

The protest

“The protest has been going on for a few months, after the provision of services began last June”, explains the manager of the Municipality of Milan, Fabrizio Chirico, who underlines the dual desire of the body to act in the interests of the workers and with respect of the legislation. Starting from this last question, «when last year, in September, the tender for the custodian services of museum premises was announced, as municipal administration we chose to give the maximum score to the companies that would have applied the Federculture contract. But no one made this choice and the old procurement code did not allow a contract to be imposed on the companies that won the tender. We tried to act in the interests of the workers, so much so that since we considered that the Trust Services contract did not respond to the type of work requested, we excluded the first three companies from the tender and chose the fourth which applies the contract Multiservice which has a higher level of remuneration and provides a classification that responds to the characteristics of the work carried out”.

The appeal to the TAR

On this there was also an appeal to the TAR in which the judge ruled in favor of the choice of the Municipality of Milan. «The ideal – continues Chirico – would be the application of the Federculture contract, something to which we are committed, placing the cost of that contract as the basis of the tender, thus also sacrificing the service in terms of hours. However, none of the companies made this choice. Today there is an ongoing reflection and a very open dialogue with the confederal unions within the observatory on public contracts. For example, we are thinking about other contracts that are expiring, smaller ones, such as that of ticket offices, which we are thinking about in relation to the request for the Federculture contract”. As regards the contract for the care of the museum premises, it has a three-year duration and will expire in June 2026. In the meantime, the dialogue channel with the confederal unions is open, while Usb is asking to be able to sit at the negotiating table.

The location of USB

Going into the merits of the grassroots union’s demands, the Municipality of Milan requests, in the tender specifications, «a qualified reception service with knowledge of foreign languages ​​as a minimum requirement», while the second worker level of the Multiservice contract concerns a «job of mere and passive surveillance”. A situation that the basic union considers “degradation of the work carried out by museum operators”. At this point the USB asks that the Municipality of Milan make the Federculture contract apply to the cooperatives and companies under contract, which however does not seem possible given that «the tender was announced while the previous procurement code was in force which establishes the principle that it is in the absolute freedom of the contracting company to choose the contract, without prejudice to compatibility with the tasks that the workers must carry out”, specifies Chirico. However, the USB also requests that Palazzo Marino opens the doors of the negotiating table to the group that has representation among the workers of the civic museums.

The spirit of the Federculture contract

According to what Federculture explains, the contract signed by the federation is proposed as the only specific contract for the management of integrated services in the field of cultural goods and activities. It was therefore created with the specific objective, among others, of establishing rules specifically designed for companies that work with public administrations and in the peculiar sector of the use and valorisation of cultural heritage. It is in this sectoral specificity, as well as in the very concept of “use and valorization” of cultural heritage, that lies “the greater appropriateness of the indication of the Federculture contract when assigning such services, compared to generalist contracts”. This also applies to all so-called “additional services”.



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