Hispanic Society Union Ratifies First Contract, Ending Eight-Week Strike

Unionized staff at Manhattan’s Hispanic Society agreed to finish an eight-week strike after ratifying a contract settlement on Friday.

“We return to work with our heads held excessive and with a powerful contract,” the union wrote as we speak in an Instagram submit. The 2-and-half 12 months contract will “increase salaries by over 18%, set up contributions to a brand new 403(b) plan and protect totally paid well being advantages. The contract additionally requires a labor administration committee, well being and security safety, severance pay {and professional} growth funds of as much as $500 per 12 months per employee.”

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a picture of the facade of a Beaux Arts building.

A Hispanic Society consultant didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The strike started in March after a 12 months of stagnant negotiations between the establishment’s small employees and administration.

In accordance with the members of the union, who’re represented by the native United Auto Employees (UAW) 2110, the contract proposed by administration eliminated well being care protection and pension charges with out a rise in wages to offset the brand new bills. The union additionally stated that wages on the Hispanic Society are already decrease than these at comparable establishments explicitly as a result of these advantages have been supplied in employment contracts. 

Within the subsequent weeks, the union maintained a picket outdoors the museum. On April 26, staff even protested outdoors the house of Philippe de Montebello, the chairman of the Hispanic Society’s board and former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Artwork. 

The union sought a 5 % retroactive wage enhance, assured future wage will increase, and assured minimal salaries for all union positions, starting from a $52,000 to $95,000, “relying on the wage grade of the place, and on par with different museums within the metropolis.”

The strike had obtained help from a number of elected New York Metropolis officers, together with metropolis council members Carmen De La Rosa and Shaun Abreu.

On April 28, the Society for Iberian World Artwork (previously the American Society for Hispanic Artwork Historic Research) launched an open letter directed on the failed negotiations, writing that its group has been “unsettled by a state of affairs that threatens not solely the establishment and its assortment, however the livelihood of our esteemed colleagues and what we take into account to be a residing landmark of our discipline.”

The Hispanic Society is dwelling to one of many largest and most treasured collections of Latin American, Spanish, Portuguese, and Philippine artwork and writing on this planet. Its holdings include greater than 900 work, together with masterworks by El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya. The museum constructing has been closed for a significant renovation since 2017. It was set to reopen final month, however development delays and the strike postponed the reopening indefinitely.

Staff on the Hispanic Society voted in 2021 to affix the UAW Native 2110, which additionally represents workers on the Museum of Superb Arts, Boston, the Museum of Trendy Artwork, the Whitney Museum of American Artwork, and the Guggenheim Museum.

“We’re elated concerning the new contract,” stated Patrick Lenaghan, a curator who has labored on the Hispanic Society for 28 years, stated in an announcement. “It gives the safety we by no means had earlier than. With this, we are able to consider the work we love and devoted so a few years to.”


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