We, the workers of the Milwaukee Art Museum, voted in November 2020 for a new direction. Over the past year we have sat across the bargaining table from the Museum and it has been a slow process. We have reached the time to discuss wages, but the Museum refuses to listen to our well-researched1 case for higher wages among its employees. Their general attitude seems to be that staff aren’t walking out, so there simply isn’t a problem here.

We are calling for public pressure to ask the Board of Trustees to invest in its workers. We have created an open letter to the Board of Trustees that you can sign here. If you are a MAM Worker, please use this link instead.

We will present these letters to the Board of Trustees on Thursday, October 28, 2021, just before the general membership meeting.

Your support is needed (and appreciated)!

Members of the public, sign here.

MAM Workers, sign here.

We’re honored to have received the support we have thus far. As we move into the final stages of contract negotiation your support is more valuable than ever.

Thank you again for your solidarity.

1 We used several surveys from Art Museums of a similar size and makeup to MAM, as well as industry standards and averages. We also used industry and geographical average for positions that weren’t well-represented in the Art Museum survey data. We also used MAM’s regularly-filed IRS Form 990, which reports the pay of the highest-compensated executives at MAM, as well as a living wage calculator from MIT that establishes that over 40% of our workers make less than a living wage for Milwaukee, WI.

For executive compensation, see Midwest data from the Association of Art Museum Directors 2020 Salary Survey, published October 21, 2020: https://aamd.org/our-members/from-the-field/salary-survey-2020

For staff data, see this same data, as well as the data for Midwest and Museums with Operating Budgets over $3 million, from the American Alliance of Museums 2017 National Museum Salary Survey: https://www.aam-us.org/programs/manage-your-career/national-museum-salary-survey/

Compensation for positions not included in these surveys was taken from the median wage listed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics information on comparable positions in Milwaukee County.

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s 2019 IRS Form 990 is available here: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/390806316

MIT Living Wage Calculator for Milwaukee, WI: https://livingwage.mit.edu/metros/33340

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