Nov 3, 2023 | News Story

Brooklyn Museum Union Sets November 8 Strike Deadline

Unionized staff of the Brooklyn Museum, members of Local 2110 UAW, have set a strike deadline and will begin picketing the Museum on Wednesday, November 8 if no agreement on a contract is reached before that date.

“We have been trying to negotiate a fair contract with the Museum for two years and at this point, we feel we have no choice but to set a strike deadline,” said Elizabeth St. George, an assistant curator of Decorative Arts. “I love the Museum and what I do, but it’s a struggle to make ends meet.”

The staff’s union, Local 2110 UAW, has been in negotiations for a first union contract since January of 2022 and has held repeated protests at the Museum over its low wage offer and unfair labor practices. Workers say salaries at the Brooklyn Museum have been stagnant for years and point to an exodus of employees over the last two years.

The Union has filed numerous unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board over the Museum’s repeatedly changing employment terms without notice or bargaining and its assignment of union work to non-union workers, temporary staff and contractors. The Labor Board has issued a formal complaint against the Museum which is scheduled to go to trial before an administrative law judge.

The Union has proposed increases totaling 19.5% over a four-and-a-half-year contract. The Union also wants part-time staff, including the museum’s educators, to receive the same percentage increases as other staff. The Union also wants the right to have an outside, neutral arbitrator review disputes over position grade levels and guaranteed minimum raises when an employee is promoted.

Staff of the Brooklyn Museum voted overwhelmingly to unionize in August 2021 with Local 2110 of the UAW, a technical, office and professional union that represents workers in museums, cultural institutions and universities. In recent years, thousands of museum workers have organized and fought for higher wages. Local 2110 recently settled successful contracts with the Whitney Museum, the Guggenheim, and the Hispanic Society Museum and Library. Read more here!