MOCA Grand Avenue, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, photo by Elon Schoenholz

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)and AFSCME Members Announce Agreement

LOS ANGELES—Today, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the staff organized through the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 126 announced a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). 
 
“Our industry struggled at the beginning of the pandemic, but it was through sticking together as our union and through negotiations that we could protect our jobs and support each other,” said Ace Ubas, Retail Coordinator and member of AFSCME Local 126. “Now, with a collective bargaining agreement, we are setting industry standards that we hope will lead to significant changes within all museums and cultural institutions. This CBA ensures MOCA workers are respected for our contributions to arts and culture so that we can continue the high level of service and accessibility to fine art for all communities.”
 
“I’m thrilled we have reached this important milestone and commend all the individuals who worked so diligently to make this agreement possible,” said MOCA Director Johanna Burton. “MOCA employees are the heart of this museum, and I am grateful to be working alongside our entire team as we look to the future together. I believe we have reached an agreement that best serves our staff and allows us to continue to commit to our mission.” 
 
More than 80 workers are covered by the contract, which was ratified by vote on May 13, 2022.
 
This collective bargaining agreement is the first contract for MOCA workers and follows a supplemental agreement that was negotiated and ratified during the COVID-19 pandemic. That agreement put into place protections for workers during the pandemic closure. 
 
Some highlights of the collective bargaining agreement include:

  • Wage increases; 
  • Expanded health care benefits, especially for part-time employees;
  • A stronger path for staff promotion and advancement;
  • Supplemental paid parental leave;
  • Grievance procedure and arbitration protections
WHO

THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Founded in 1979, MOCA is the defining museum of contemporary art. In a relatively short period of time, MOCA has achieved astonishing growth; a world-class permanent collection of more than 7,500 objects, international in scope and among the finest in the world; hallmark education programs that are widely emulated; award-winning publications that present original scholarship; groundbreaking monographic, touring, and thematic exhibitions of international repute that survey the art of our time; and cutting-edge engagement with modes of new media production. MOCA is a not-for-profit institution that relies on a variety of funding sources for its activities.

AFSCME LOCAL 126
AFSCME Local 126 members are a proud part of Los Angeles-based AFSCME District Council 36 whose nearly 20,000 members perform a diverse array of roles in local government, legal aid and nonprofit social service organizations, yet all share a common pride and dedication to public service. Council 36 members advocate, and if necessary, agitate, for workers’ rights and freedoms. As economic gaps between the haves and have-nots reach extremes in America, we are committed to sustaining the middle class and promoting equitability, opportunity and prosperity both in the workplace and in our communities.

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