Oct 13, 2023 | News Story

Jewish Museum Staff Win First Union Contract

The Jewish Museum unionized staff have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first union contract after over a year of organizing and negotiations.

“The whole process of unionizing our workplace has been transformative for us as Museum staff, and it’s empowering to know we have legally enforceable rights supporting us and our work.” said Amelia Kutschbach, who is an editor at the Museum.

The Agreement is retroactive to October 1, 2023, and will run through June 30, 2026. Museum staff wages will increase by 17.5% on average over a three-year period. Pay rates for on-call art handlers and museum educators will also rise by 20% and 14%, respectively. The new contract also includes increased childcare leave, improved part-time benefits, increases in vacation, health, and safety protection, a labor-management committee, a binding grievance procedure, and paid time off for union stewards. For a summary of the contract, see here.

“I love my work at the Museum, “ said Rebecca Shaykin, an associate curator who has worked at the Museum for over a decade. “Our goal in unionizing was to insure a truly sustainable career path at the Jewish Museum. As a staff, we often felt that our contribution to the Museum was undervalued. Unionization is changing that and we look forward to building upon this really strong first contract.”

Workers at the Jewish Museum voted to organize with Local 2110 UAW in 2021. They were part of a wave of organizing by Local 2110 in other museums including MoMA, the New Museum, the Shed, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim, the Hispanic Society Museum and Library, the Brooklyn Museum, the Dia Foundation, the MFA, Boston, MASS MoCA and the Portland Museum of Art. Local 2110 is currently negotiating first contracts at the Dia Foundation and the Brooklyn Museum, where Local 2110 has been forced to file numerous unfair labor practice charges.