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MoMA Union Reaches Contract Agreement with Museum Management After Protests

Maida Rosenstein, the president of Local 2110, speaking at MoMA’s entrance on West 53rd Street during a protest earlier this month.

ANDREW RUSSETH/ARTNEWS

Following protests over labor issues at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the MoMA Local 2110 union announced this morning that it reached an agreement for a new contract with management at the institution. The five-year contract will include a new structure for offering certain employees raises and pay increases as well as amendments to MoMA’s health-care plan.

In a statement, Maida Rosenstein, the president of United Auto Workers Local 2110, said, “We attribute the museum’s retractions in no small part to the dedicated efforts and perseverance of our members, who have spent months volunteering their time to our activism and turning out in record numbers to participate in collective actions, as well as to the resounding vocal support from our colleagues, friends, and the public at large.”

“MoMA has an extraordinary staff and we are pleased with the fair and amicable resolution we reached with Local 2110,” a MoMA spokesperson said in a statement. “We believe this five-year contract will keep our dedicated staff and the museum on a path of financial stability and future growth.”

Under the new contract, MoMA will offer a seniority step program that offers raises to workers after certain periods of time—something the museum had previously sought to eliminate, according to the union. Employees’ share of family health-coverage costs will not increase, and single-person coverage will not require employee contributions. The union also said in a release that guidelines for tuition benefits, paid family leave, and commissions and sales benefits for those in MoMA’s Retail and Visitor Engagement department had improved.

The news follows two protests this summer at the museum that garnered attention—one in May at MoMA’s Party in the Garden gala and another earlier this month that began in the museum’s lobby. Rosenstein told ARTnews this past May that negotiations between the union and MoMA had begun in April, and that they were “not making good progress.” At both actions, union employees could be seen holding signs that read “MODERN ART ANCIENT WAGES” and “#WeAreMoMA.” At the latter, gestures included singing the Industrial Workers of the World standard “Solidarity Forever,” with lyrics updated to reference the museum.

In a statement this morning, Megan Grann, Local 2110’s union steward and selling specialist, said, “We could not have done it alone, and are so moved by the truly incredible show of solidarity throughout this process.”

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