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MoMA Workers Put Final Brush Strokes on Union Contract (1)

Aug. 17, 2018, 5:49 PMUpdated: Aug. 17, 2018, 8:26 PM

Employees of the Museum of Modern Art in New York approved a five-year labor contract that increases wages and preserves health-care benefits, the United Auto Workers said.

The deal includes raises of at least 3 percent, UAW Local 2110 spokesperson Maida Rosenstein told Bloomberg Law. Seniority steps, which the museum sought to eliminate, will remain in place, she said.

The UAW represents about 250 employees at the museum. Workers ratified the deal Aug. 16 by a 96 percent margin, the union said.

“We believe this five-year contract will keep our dedicated staff and the Museum on a path of financial stability and future growth,” a MoMA spokesperson told Bloomberg Law.

The negotiations, which began in April, received new life following a walkout Aug. 6, Rosenstein said. “The museum finally heard us when there such overwhelming participation by the membership in numerous actions,” she said.

Family Health Costs Frozen

Employees will see pay raises of at least 3 percent in the first three years of the contract and 3.5 percent pay raises in 2021 and 2022, according to the union. Single coverage health insurance will continue to require no employee contributions, and family coverage costs are frozen. Wage increases are retroactive to May 21.

The new contract also adjusts tuition benefits and paid family leave benefits. Under the contract, union stewards will be permitted to meet new employees and discuss the union during orientation.

Negotiators tabled the topic of curatorial assistants’ promotional opportunities and punted the issue to an outside arbitrator. The union filed a grievance alleging the museum has not reviewed promotion opportunities for the assistants in a timely fashion. The issue will now be determined in an upcoming hearing, according to Rosenstein.

MoMa has received funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable organization founded by Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg Law is operated by entities controlled by Michael Bloomberg.

(Updated with additional reporting throughout.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Wallender in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at