More than a year after being voluntarily recognized by management, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures union has officially ratified its first contract.
The new three-year agreement sets a wage floor of $20 per hour, with employees receiving a minimum three percent wage increase annually. Paid parental leave was introduced as part of the pact, along with increased work clothing allowances, enhanced sick leave benefits and “employer-provided commuting options,” the union said in a statement Tuesday.
One hundred and seventy employees are members of the union, which is affiliated with AFSCME Local 126. Of that group, frontline workers working in visitor experience, theater operations, retail and facilities will see the largest wage increases, with their wages increasing by 19.1 to 21.3 percent in during the three years of the contract.
The negotiating unit approved the pact almost unanimously in a referendum on September 22, with 98.6 percent of votes in favor.
“I am very pleased that we have been able to achieve good pay increases, especially for our frontline teams. We have also implemented a number of safeguards for the health and safety of museum staff,” said Cheryl Jones, Academy Member and Visitor Experience Officer at the Academy Museum, in a statement. “We all came together to make this happen, and I am proud to have represented my colleagues in this historic victory.”
Employees of the Academy Museum first announced their organizational action in May 2022, citing their interest in more control over working conditions and employment conditions. They also demanded pay increases. A few months later, the museum voluntarily recognized the union, which represents employees in 40 job titles and across 17 departments, and not long after Academy Foundation employees announced their intention to form a union, also with AFSCME. (That union was voluntarily recognized in December 2022.)
In her own statement, Jacqueline Stewart, director and president of the Academy Museum, said the museum’s leadership is proud to “maintain a wage level that is consistent with industry standards and a robust benefits package for our staff.”