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MOCA announces agreement to proceed to voluntary recognition of union
MOCA Grand Avenue, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, photo by Elon Schoenholz.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees reached agreement this week to proceed with voluntary recognition of an AFSCME District Council 36 union at MOCA based on a majority of signed union cards, without requiring staff members to vote in a formal National Labor Relations Board election.

Two weeks ago, MOCA staff presented museum leadership with a statement of intent to unionize with AFSCME. The new agreement formalizes a bargaining unit that will be the subject of forthcoming negotiations between MOCA and AFSCME.

“We have spent the last two weeks thoroughly considering the staff’s initiative through the lens of MOCA’s vision of being a civic-minded institution, and we concluded that we want to be supportive of this effort,” said MOCA Director Klaus Biesenbach. “Our valued and engaging staff are the face and backbone of our museum and, in embracing this agreement, we are investing in the long-term vibrancy of an organization founded by artists and dedicated to the promotion of the arts as a public good in Los Angeles. We will move forward in good faith to establish an equitable and sustainable contract.”

“We care about MOCA and we want to make it better. That’s what organizing is all about: giving workers a voice on the job so that we can improve conditions for employees and the experience for our community,” said Gallery Attendant Christine Samples. “We are thrilled MOCA will voluntarily recognize our union, and we look forward to working together to start a new partnership to serve our community through appreciation and education of the art we love.”

Los Angeles-based AFSCME District Council 36 serves 60 autonomous Local Unions. Our 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. An affiliate of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) International Union in Washington D.C., “Council 36” was chartered in 1969.

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