Staff on the Museum of High-quality Arts, Boston (MFA) achieved a victory on Tuesday, June 28, when over 200 workers members voted to ratify their first union contract. Efforts to unionize the museum started in the summertime of 2019 and the workers voted overwhelmingly to hitch Union Native 2110 UAW in November 2020.
The brand new contract brings greater wages: Staff will obtain will increase of a minimum of 5% beginning July 1, with some getting double-digit raises, and salaries will enhance once more by 3% subsequent 12 months and in 2024 for an estimated 13.5% enchancment over the contract’s three-year time period. It’s going to additionally safe higher transportation and retirement advantages and office range coaching, and set up a grievance process and a Labor Administration Committee, two mainstays of unionized workplaces.
The highway to negotiating a contract was removed from clean: In November of final 12 months, over 200 employees went on strike within the wake of stalled negotiations, accusing museum management of inadequately addressing union calls for.
“After our one-day strike, the tempo of negotiations stepped up,” stated MFA library affiliate and union bargaining committee member Jordan Barnes in a press release shared with Hyperallergic. “We had been capable of attain tentative agreements on many essential non-money gadgets that had been beforehand hindrances, and begin specializing in compensation points.” The assertion provides that Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who supplied her help to each the union and the museum in negotiations, was essential to securing as we speak’s deal.
Native 2110 UAW represents employees at different esteemed museums — together with New York’s Museum of Fashionable Artwork, the Whitney Museum of American Artwork, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum — a lot of whom have additionally struggled to barter passable contracts.
“This contract is a structural breakthrough for museum employees who’ve been underpaid as a bunch for years,” Martina Tanga, curatorial analysis and interpretation affiliate on the MFA, stated within the assertion. Notably, the contract additionally does away with a 2006 pay construction that favored workers in departments comparable to finance and fundraising however not these in conventional library or museum roles.
The elevated wages and improved advantages will have an effect on 227 employees on the MFA. In a press launch, MFA Director Matthew Teitelbaum stated: “As we proceed to handle the disruption of the pandemic and within the midst of great inflation, we imagine this settlement and our funding throughout the group are the suitable choice, assembly our workers’ wants and in the end strengthening your entire MFA to proceed serving our group.”
The MFA’s new contract comes as unionization efforts proceed to comb museums nationwide.
“Through the years, museums have targeted their funding in constructing expansions and high-value acquisitions,” Tanga stated. “The wave of museum unionizing throughout the nation is a transparent signal that it’s time museums acknowledge and reward the precious contribution of museum workers.”