Weekslong Philadelphia Museum of Art strike ends, in time for Matisse exhibit

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — Workers are back to work Monday as the week-long workers’ strike at the Philadelphia Museum of Art is over.

The strike ended just in time for the opening of the Matisse exhibition at the museum on Thursday.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art Union said they will now receive higher pay increases, a longevity bonus to recognize service at the museum, more affordable health care and four weeks of paid parental leave, among other benefits.

The deal was ratified by 99% of the union on Sunday.

The museum has remained open since the strike began last month. Visitors passed protesters grouped near the various entrances and exits.

Local 397 represents around 180 employees. Curators, conservators, visitors services staff and from most departments joined the picket line.

The union said the workers had been without a contract since the union was formed in 2020.

On Sunday, the museum tweeted that it values ​​its entire workforce and looks forward to achieving “a fair and equitable conclusion to the collective bargaining process” and welcoming colleagues back to work.

A preliminary agreement was circulated last Friday. The union president said they got everything they asked for.

“We came together with so much solidarity and strength that I think they had to meet our demands,” said union chairman and museum educator Adam Rizzo.

“If people want places like the museum and other cultural institutions to exist, someone has to work there, and for people to work there, do their job well, put down roots, build expertise and have really great experiences – they have to be there be treated with a degree of respect,” said Elizabeth Freeburg, Head of Donor Communications.

State Senator Nikil Saval tweeted, “What the Philadelphia Museum of Art Union has accomplished for itself, the museum, the city and cultural workers everywhere is immeasurable. That is an incredible achievement.”

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https://6abc.com/philadelphia-museum-of-art-strike-ends-union-deal-ratified-local-397/12338243/ Weekslong Philadelphia Museum of Art strike ends, in time for Matisse exhibit

Alley Einstein

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