Walters Workers United

Major update:
We finally have a signed election agreement!

On March 27, representatives of Walters Workers United (WWU) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union officials met with Walters Art Museum Executive Director Julia Marciari-Alexander and reached an agreement that would resolve a nearly two-year impasse between workers and management over union recognition.  

For two years we held strong in our demand for one wall-to-wall union, inclusive of both guard and non-guard employees. We began organizing in part out of a desire to see values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility honored at the museum, and these same values guided us to demand one union for all museum employees. Despite deep intransigence from museum leadership, we never backed down from our vision for our union. Now we're ready to VOTE YES for our union!

Want to support Walters Workers United as we head into an election this spring 2023? Click here to download a WWU support sign, take a selfie and email it to [email protected]. Every act of solidarity helps!

Member Voices

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.

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.

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 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.
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.