Posts tagged Museum of Fine Arts
Changing institutional culture from the inside out: why more and more US museum workers are forming unions
May 19, 2023 // Organising efforts at Storm King, the PMA, the Hispanic Society and elsewhere reflect a trend that has been growing in the US art and heritage sector over the course of the past five years and accelerated with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Workers at more than 20 institutions have formed a union since 2020 or are actively in negotiations for their first contract, including the Jewish Museum and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and Mass Moca in Massachusetts. In March, after 16 months of negotiations, workers at the Whitney Museum of American Art, who had formed a union in spring 2021, ratified their first contract. State of the unions: why US museum workers are mobilising against their employers Tom Seymour The issues prompting workers to form unions across the country and across a broad range of industry sectors are remarkably consistent: wages, benefits and working conditions. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of wage and salary workers who belonged to a union in 2022 was 14.3 million, a 1.9% increase on 2021.
Strike by Philadelphia Museum of Art workers shows woes of ‘prestige’ jobs
October 10, 2022 // Organizing one workplace can serve as an example for other similar workplaces to do the same. Adam Rizzo, art museum educator and one of the union’s leaders, says when it formed, it also created a new chapter, Local 397, which employees at other museums could join.
MFA union ratifies its first contract
June 30, 2022 // The MFA Union represents all non-managerial employees who are not already represented by another collective bargaining agreement, and includes hourly front-of-house staff and part-time educators as well as members of administrative, technical, curatorial and conservation departments. Union leaders said the salary minimums will improve pay equity across departments and raise salaries up to industry standards. Curators and conservators, who are typically paid less than salaried professionals in other departments, will see the biggest gains. “There is room for improvement in museum compensation as an industry, but this is a step in that direction … so hopefully we don’t get so behind industry standards in the future,” said Eve Mayberger, a member of the bargaining committee and an assistant objects conservator at the museum. “It is a huge improvement for many of our unit members.” Matthew Teitelbaum, Maida Rosenstein
State of the unions: why US museum workers are mobilising against their employers
February 4, 2022 // TA report by the American Alliance of Museums, published in April 2021, found that museums closed to the public for an average of 28 weeks during 2020. More than 75% of those surveyed stated that their income fell by an average of 40% that year, while 56% went through rounds of layoffs and furloughs. Rehiring, in most cases, is off the table. Those who kept their positions have had to pick up the slack.
‘We are in crisis mode’: Museum workers are turning to unions over conditions they say are untenable
November 4, 2021 // The coronavirus compounded the stressors of past years. According to a report by the American Alliance of Museums in April, museums in the United States locked their doors to the public for an average of 28 weeks starting in March 2020 because of the pandemic; nearly 30 percent remain shuttered today. Lost revenue from the forced closures hit the bottom line hard: Three-quarters of all museums surveyed said their income fell an average of 40 percent last year.