December 2021 Tentative Agreement

Announcing Our Tentative Agreement!

In December 2021, the Bargaining Committee and the Museum Representatives finalized the first tentative agreement of our negotiation process. It has been a long process, consisting of 30 bargaining sessions over 12 months. We are excited to share our work with you.

A tentative agreement is a proposed contract, which union employees covered by the contract will vote on. If the employees vote to approve the contract, it goes into effect on its ratification date. If employees reject the contract, bargaining will continue. If you are unsure if your position is in the bargaining unit, please consult the Settlement Agreement the union has reached with the museum. If you still have questions, please reach out to the IAM MAM Bargaining Committee for more information.

You can review the tentative agreement here. The linked document includes the contract in full, as well as a highlighter that gives the major overview of what the tentative agreement proposes. Additionally, the two previous letters of understanding we have reached with the Museum will remain in effect. Letter of Understanding 1 is regarding the wage increases that Food and Beverage employees received in order to retain staff, as well as to make the museum a more attractive employer to new staff. Letter of Understanding 2 is regarding the 2.25% wage increase that all union employees received as of September 1, 2021.

In order to vote on this proposed contract, you will need to be a member of the IAMAW. To become a member, complete this online form:

As bargaining unit employees of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, you have access to the Machinist Custom Choices Supplemental Insurance Program. For more information, please review the program flyer. This benefit is available to all employees, regardless of membership status in the IAMAW.

Voting is underway!

In order to vote on this proposed contract, you will need to be a member of the IAMAW.
To become a member, complete this online form:

If you join today and don’t get a ballot request, email:

Business Representative Brandon Mortenson

as soon as possible to allow your voice to be heard.

Voting ends at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, December 21, 2021.


We had an informational session on the Tentative Agreement at the Machinists Lodge on Monday, December 20, 2021 from 5:30-8:30 PM. The questions below include those asked by fellow museum workers, as well as frequently asked questions regarding the contract ratification process.

If your question isn’t below, please feel free to reach out to the IAM MAM Bargaining Committee or Business Representative Brandon Mortenson at or 262-378-0394.

What is an example of an issue that would be discussed at a Labor Management meeting?

Labor Management meetings can be used to talk about items in the workplace relative to the bargaining unit, but not explicitly outlined in the collective bargaining agreement. As an example, in another IAM shop on-the-job training was discussed in multiple labor management meetings to develop a system that was beneficial to the employer and supported by bargaining unit employees.

What is “just cause” as outlined in article XIII?

Just cause is a standard that requires sufficient proof, or action, prior to a discipline or discharge action. A good explanation of what constitutes just cause can be found here:

Why does the $50 dues rate apply to full-time, 30+ and part-time employees that same?

The dues structure and rate is set by IAM Constitution and local Lodge by-laws. These dues have been used for the negotiation of the Milwaukee Art Museum contract, including the organizing materials, Committee lost-time, and other related expenses. District 10 and Lodge 66 are exploring solutions that may address the dues rate for part-time employees.

What is “MNPL” as outlined in article XXXI?

MNPL is a voluntary contribution that members can make to the Machinists Non-Partisan Political League, the IAM’s Political Action Committee that makes donations directly to politicians, or political candidates, that support pro-worker legislation. This is seperate from dues dollars which are used for representation of Members and administration of the Union. Dues cannot be spent for donations to politicians.

When would the open enrollment be for the Machinists Custom Choice benefits?

If the contract is ratified, we will work with Machinsts Custon Choice (EBS) and the Milwaukee Art Museum to coordinate an open enrollment period. Communication will be sent to all bargaining unit employees when that enrollment period has been confirmed. Based on the status of COVID-19, it may be a virtual open enrollment format.

Some positions work off-site from the Milwaukee Art Museum property, does this contract apply to us when we are working at other locations?

Yes, the contract applies to all work in a covered classification while employed by the Milwaukee Art Museum. If you are working off-site and need union representation, reach out to your Steward or Business Representative, Brandon Mortenson.

I wasn’t able to attend the meeting on December 20, 2021 and I still have questions regarding the proposal. How can I get my questions answered?

You can email or call Business Representative Brandon Mortenson at or 262-378-0394 to ask any questions regarding the proposal or Union.

Who is covered by this contract?

This contract covers “the Bargaining Unit,” a.k.a. all full-time and all regular part-time professional and non-professional employees, excluding office clerical employees, temporary employees, on-call employees, confidential employees, guards and supervisors. If you do not see your position listed on the wage table or in the settlement agreement, but you feel you are in the Bargaining Unit, please reach out to!

What is the “Settlement Agreement”?

The “Settlement Agreement” is a letter containing a detailed list of positions that are included and excluded from the Bargaining Unit after being contested during the November 2020 Union certification election.

Why should I become a Union member?

The Union is a community within the museum. Its members are museum employees who feel passionately about equity, dignity, fairness and justice in the workplace. Become a Member, make your voice heard, and vote on the proposed agreement! Join here:

What is the difference between being in the Bargaining Unit and being a Union member?

Bargaining Unit employees are covered by the contract, and their working conditions are guided by this document. Union Members are able to vote on the contract, can hold positions within the Union (such as being on the Bargaining Committee or being a Union Steward), can attend Union meetings, and are eligible for the Union benefits such as the IAM Free College, IAM Disaster Relief, and the array of Union Plus benefits. Union Stewards advocate for all workers within the Bargaining Unit, regardless of Union membership status.

Will I still be covered by the contract if I don’t join?

All employees in the collective bargaining unit are subject to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement regardless of whether they are members of the Union or not. Our ability to enforce the contract now and secure improvements in future bargaining sessions depends on our solidarity and strength of our membership. Everyone who becomes a member of the Union helps to increase our worker power.

Why didn’t I get a raise with this contract?

This proposed contract shows minimum wages for each position–if you are currently making more than that minimum, you will retain your current wage.

Nothing in this contract prevents the Museum offering individuals a higher wage than these minimums—if you advocate for a higher wage, and if your manager says they can’t “because of the Union,” that’s wrong.

Regardless, everyone covered by this contract will receive a raise in Years 2 and 3 of the contract (2.75% in Year 2, 2% in Year 3), with a guaranteed minimum raise of 55 cents.

Many of these are existing policies from the MAM handbook, so why do we need a contract?

Once the contract is ratified, the Museum must consult the Union before changing any policies outlined in this document. By having a contract, arbitrary decisions on the part of the employer can be slowed down and thought through with Union membership.

Once the contract is in place, who do I go to with issues related to the contract?

Please email your Shop Steward (see list below!) and Brandon Mortenson, Business Rep, with any issues related to the contract. The Steward and Brandon will work to resolve the issue with your supervisor, and escalate to HR if necessary. See Article 15: Grievance Procedure on what you can expect the process to be.

How do I become more involved with the Union?

Funny you should ask! Once the contract is ratified through a member vote, elections for a new Shop Committee (aka Bargaining Committee) and Shop Chair will be held. Please nominate yourself or others for these crucial positions. Plus, you’ll get to know people across the Museum and help create a more fair and equitable workplace! Learn about the process here: MAM Representation Policy

What guided the Bargaining Committee while negotiating this contract?

Our Bargaining Priorities were drawn from the results of the bargaining survey all Bargaining Unit members were invited to complete in January 2021. The Bargaining Unit told us they wanted, and we are proud to say we achieved a contract that supports these goals:

  • A fair living wage commensurate with assigned work

  • Improved job security

  • Enhanced career development

  • Increased access to health insurance

  • Fostering diversity and equity in the workplace

  • Stronger health and safety protections on the job

How do I vote on the contract offer?

The vote will be held electronically for the two days following the meeting, and close at midnight on December 21st. Look for an email from that will be sent on December 20th. Note: Only Union members may vote on the contract, so, please, join today!

How does the contract vote work?

If a majority of members vote to accept the contract, negotiations end and the contract will go into effect immediately, including any applicable wage increases.

Who is eligible to vote?

All members in good standing are eligible to vote, so join now!

How are the ballots counted?

The ballots will be counted electronically.

When will dues be deducted and how much are they?

Dues for IAMMAM members (full- and part-time) will be locked in at $50 a month until December 31, 2024. The first withdrawal for dues will take place in January. After 12/31/24 the dues rate will revert back to the normal dues rate set by your home, Lodge 66.

How do I pay dues?

You may either request that MAM automatically withdraw your dues from your paycheck once a month, or use “eDues” which can be set up to withdraw from your checking account or credit card twice a month.

What do my dues go towards?

Dues secure all the benefits, rights, services and privileges that are negotiated through collectively bargained contracts. Dues enable the union to utilize all of our collective power to negotiate the best agreement possible. During negotiations, the IAM trains bargaining committees to ensure they are equipped with the skills necessary. Dues are also used for arbitration, when grievances can’t be resolved between the Union and the company. Union dues also include benefits that the Union offers, such as scholarships, free online college, group health plans, and more. Dues also allow for Union staff to help unrepresented workers organize unions at their workplace.

Where do my dues dollars go?