Guggenheim Museum Workers Ratify First Union Contract
Unionized workers at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City have ratified a contract by a 97% margin after two years of negotiations. Staffers across departments, including curators, conservators, educators, and public programming team members, unionized through Local 2110 UAW in October 2021. Using the slogan “do the Wright thing” — a reference to Frank Lloyd Wright, architect of the institution’s distinctive spiral building — they steadily applied pressure on the Guggenheim throughout the negotiations.
The contract guarantees a minimum nine percent wage increase for union positions over a two-and-a-half-year schedule, with the average sitting at 11%, on top of other benefits and protections for full-time, part-time, and temporary employees. On top of the wage bumps, the contract entitles workers to paid family leave, capped health insurance premiums, increased museum contributions for the retirement benefits, professional development opportunities, and more. Approximately 150 Guggenheim staffers are included in the bargaining unit.
“The contract puts into writing that the labor we all do at the museum is important, valuable, and worth protecting,” Alan Seise, a manager of public programs in the museum’s education department who sat on the union’s bargaining committee, told Hyperallergic. “It recognizes the dignity and humanity of everyone who works to enrich the lives of our visitors.” Read more in the New York Times, MSN, and The Art Newspaper.