Academy Museum Union Ratifies First Labor Contract


Unionized workers at the Academy Museum ratified their first union contract with 98.6% of the vote, AFSCME Local 126 announced Tuesday.

Approval of the deal between the museum dedicated to film and Oscars history and the AFSCME-affiliated Academy Museum Workers United comes nearly a year after the first bargaining session. Back in July 2022, the Academy Museum voluntarily recognized the union shortly after film scholar and Turner Classic Movies host Jacqueline Stewart was appointed director and president.

“On behalf of Academy Museum leadership, I’m pleased that negotiations were completed swiftly for the sake of our teams and that they were conducted with mutual respect on both sides,” Stewart said in a joint statement released by the museum and AMWU. “We take pride in maintaining a wage level that aligns with industry standards and a robust benefits package for our staff.”

The contract’s benefits include a new minimum starting rate of $20 per hour, additional step increases based on the number of years employed, and wage increases for the union’s 170+ members over the course of the 3-year contract term.

Employees who work in the museum’s visitor experience, retail, theater operations and facilities departments, and who also make up the majority of the bargaining unit, will see the most significant raises ranging between 19.1% and 21.3% over the life of the contract.

Other key benefits gained include expansion of medical leave benefits, the addition of parental leave, and employer-provided commuting options.

“I’m thrilled we were able to win good wage increases, especially for our front-line teams. We also secured a number of protections for the health and safety of museum staff,” said Cheryl Jones, a Visitor Experience Associate at the Academy Museum. “We all came together to make this happen, and I’m proud to have represented my coworkers in this historic win.”

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