Walters Workers United

Dear Fellow Coworkers,

We are excited to announce our intent to unionize with AFSCME Council 67. A majority of eligible staff across departments have expressed their desire to form our union. We are organizing a union because we believe in having a fair, equitable, and just workplace.

We are The Walters Art Museum. “We engage and strengthen our community by collecting, preserving, and interpreting art.” We are forming our union to care for our most valuable assets — the people who work here and the communities we serve. In doing so, we will support each other and further the stated goal of the institution to be a transformative force in the Baltimore region and the larger museum field. In order to succeed, we need:

  • A workplace that values the health and safety of all workers, including our physical and mental wellbeing.
  • Transparent communication and collaborative decision-making to create a culture of inclusion, trust, equity, and accountability.
  • Pay equity, benefits for all workers (including part-time), professional development, advancement opportunities, and job security to build and support a dynamic team.

We know through collectively organizing with our colleagues we can create a better workplace at the Walters. In forming our union, we will have the power to negotiate a legally-binding contract that raises standards for our working conditions, wages, and benefits we deserve.

We are strongest when we speak together, work together, and organize together. As a united front, we can create the change we need. Friends, we are ready to build our union for a better future—we deserve it, our families deserve it, and our community deserves it.

The first step is to join our movement and sign a union card today.

In solidarity,

The Organizing Committee

  • Greg Bailey
  • Dany Chan
  • Anna Clarkson
  • Iman Cuffie
  • Merle Davison
  • Ashley Dimmig
  • Jess Figard
  • Adam Franchino
  • James Girolamo
  • Allison Gulick
  • Will Hays
  • Ashley Jones
  • Dylan Kinnett
  • Sam Mera-Candedo
  • Will Murray
  • Elizabeth Norman
  • Garrett Stralnic
  • Ruby Waldo
  • Marta Zoellner

Member Voices

On April 30, 2021, The Walters Ar

A Union at the Walters is greatly needed because it will assist in building a stronger positive work environment.

I’m extremely glad that we’re organizing and I’m absolutely going to vote yes for our union. I came from an institution that was unionized and that makes a huge difference.

I believe a union would give us greater influence and ownership over our work culture.

On our own, we have never been able to bring about the changes the museum needs to be a better workplace. A union would give us the backing needed to create real change.

I support Walters Workers United because I want the job that I'm good at to be protected by a contract.

We need a union at the Walters because the time has come to empower all employees, not just the ones at the top of the hierarchy.

My coworkers are some of the most caring, hardworking, and smartest people I’ve ever met. We need a union to ensure we have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that impact our lives and work.
I support the Walters Union because I want to be able to focus on doing my job well, with clarity, transparency, security, and support.
It’s amazing how we work together, as a team. With our union, we would lead together and become a transformative force. Let’s empower our work with fairness and transparency.
As we listen to and engage with communities across greater Baltimore, we must also advocate for more equitable structures within our own institution. In forming our union, we will be better equipped to secure our jobs, ensure living wages and healthcare for all, build and sustain ladders of opportunity, and clear pathways for career advancement. Together we can be a transformative force for change.
I’ve worked at the museum for 5 years and in that time nearly the entire education team, a group of 15, has turned over. It’s been traumatic and we’ve lost good people and a wealth of institutional knowledge to burn out and toxic work culture. We need a workers’ union at the Walters Art Museum in order to be a collaborative, supportive work place that values the thoughts and opinions of our colleagues as much as we value art objects.
I have been with the Walters for 16 years and for the last 7 years, staff morale has been very low. I know that leadership is aware of the situation because they have hired 3 different external contractors to come in and listen to staff to assess the situation. Leadership has made efforts, but in order to really improve morale, staff at all levels need to be involved in the process. We need to unionize so we can work together as a whole to make the Walters a better workplace.
Organizing a union will ensure all WAM workers are heard, empowered, and supported in the amazing work that we do. Let’s come together to make the Walters the best it can be, thereby fulfilling our potential to be a leader in Baltimore and in the field at large.
As a librarian and archivist, I am bound to professional codes of ethics that emphasize access, transparency, fairness, and mentorship. Unionizing will help promote these ideas further and strengthen the institution for all.
Issues like pay equity, transparency, employment security, and accountability need to be addressed and improved to protect the workers who make the Walters possible. The Walters is a gem in the city of Baltimore and a better Walters makes for a better Baltimore.