BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Members of the union representing about 200 workers at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, voted to hold a one-day strike on November 17 after more than seven-month-long contract negotiations with management.
The union included voices from public-facing staff, library workers, educators, curators, conservators, administrative and professional workers. More than 96% of the union voted to picket outside the museum near Huntington Avenue next Wednesday, union officials said in a statement.
Concerns were raised during negotiations about pay, safety, workplace diversity, job growth, and union membership requirements.
"Liveable wages for everyone and workplace rights are issues we hope to address through a fair contract," said Eve Mayberger, a member of the union's negotiating team. "Boston is a very expensive place to live, and it can be a struggle to meet basic expenses, like housing and transportation," Mayberger said.
Last November, museum workers agreed to unionize and join United Auto Workers Local 2110.
According to the union, MFA director Matthew Teitelbaum's 2020 salary was $992,414, almost nineteen times greater than the average worker salary of $53,400.
In a statement obtained by the Boston Globe on Friday, the museum expressed its support for workers' rights to organize and has "met in good faith at the bargaining table, making positive progress and engaging in productive dialogue with the union." The MFA said that despite financial challenges from the pandemic, their goal has always been to recognize and support their employees.
The museum went on to say that the union's bargaining committee has not responded to a wage proposal made more than seven weeks ago, but that museum leaders will stay at the bargaining table.