Our Contract

Announcing Our Contract!

On December 22, 2021, the union voted to adopt our first contract. If you’re unsure if you’re covered in the contract, check out 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.

The contract is available at this link.

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.

Summary of Major Changes

  • A fair living wage commensurate with assigned work
    • Immediate boosts in minimum pay for many positions that were below the median before negotiations started, based on salary surveys of the AAM, AAMD, and Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Page # 10)
    • Guaranteed general wage increases in Years 2 and 3 of the contract (2.75%, 2.00%), with a guaranteed minimum raise of 55 cents in these years for all bargaining unit employees (Page # 11)
    • Transparency in minimum pay rates for all bargaining unit positions (Page # 10)
    • A process to handle changes in job descriptions, and to make sure the pay is commensurate with any significant or substantial changes (Page # 5)
    • Reporting pay and call-in pay to ensure earnings for employees if work schedule is changed with too little notice (Page # 11)
  • Improved job security
    • A clear and defined process for future layoffs and recalls, based on departmental seniority and ability to do the work available (Page # 5)
    • A requirement of just cause for any disciplines and discharges (Page # 7)
    • A clear and defined process for grievances regarding any contractual provision, including health & safety matters, layoffs, recalls, disciplines, discharges, and subcontracting (Page # 8-9)
    • Limitations on subcontracting when qualified bargaining unit employees are on layoff (Page # 20)
  • Enhanced career development
    • Notification of job vacancies to all bargaining unit employees, including transparency in job title, compensation range, schedule of hours, the job description, and the qualifications for the position (Page # 6)
    • Required performance reviews that provide feedback on employee’s job performance and employee growth discussions (Page #6)
    • Access to personnel files, including any statements about job performance (Page# 7)
    • Training and development for all employees, within their position and as development for further responsibilities (Page # 12-13)
  • Increased access to health insurance
    • Machinist’s Custom Choices Plan offers increased benefit access for all full-time, 30+ and part-time bargaining unit employees and employees the ability to choose their appropriate benefits coverage, including (Page# 25):
      • short-term disability
      • critical illness
      • cancer insurance
      • accident plan
      • hospital indemnity
      • whole life
      • term life
      • AD&D
  • Fostering diversity and equity in the workplace
    • Improved policies support a variety of life situations for employees
      • PTO Donation policy (Page # 14-16)
      • Remote work/Work from Home (Page #12)
      • A clear break policy is outlined for all shift lengths (Page # 12)
      • Milk expression breaks (Page #12)
      • Two uniforms will be provided to existing employees and new employees if required for the position (Page # 20 )
    • A contractually binding non-discrimination article, setting forth the Museum’s and Union’s commitment to fostering diversity and equity (Page # 2)
  • Stronger health and safety protections on the Job
    • Labor-Management Committee meets quarterly to address issues, including health and safety (Page # 3-4)
    • Safety and security policies and protocols are provided to all new employees and provided to all employees if changed (Page # 3)
    • Contractually obligated communication regarding painting and construction impacting employees’ workspaces (Page # 3)
    • The museum must maintain Museum-owned vehicles and equipment (Page # 3)


If your question isn’t below, please feel free to reach out to the IAM MAM Bargaining Committee.

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 iam.mamnegotiators@gmail.com!

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

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.

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.

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: https://eforms.iamaw.org/memapp/00066.

When will dues be deducted and how much are they?

Dues for IAMMAM members (full-time and 30+) will be locked in at $50 per month until December 31, 2024. The first withdrawal for dues will take place in January 2022. After 12/31/24 the dues rate will revert back to the normal dues rate set by your home, Lodge 66.

For part-time IAMMAM members, dues are $2 per month until Lodge 66 finalizes a part-time dues rate.

How do I pay dues?

You may:

  • request that MAM automatically withdraw your dues from your paycheck once a month,
  • use “eDues” which can be set up to withdraw from your checking account or credit card twice a month, or
  • send a check to Lodge 66 each month (or once yearly with your yearly dues amount).

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?

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 the strength of our membership. Everyone who becomes a member of the Union helps to increase our worker power.

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 the Shop Committee.

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.

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.

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 it to HR if necessary. See Article 15: Grievance Procedure on what you can expect the process to be.

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: The Seven Tests of Just Cause.

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 separate from dues dollars which are used for the representation of Members and administration of the Union. Dues cannot be spent on donations to politicians.

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

If the contract is ratified, we will work with Machinists Custom 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.

How do I become more involved with the Union?

Funny you should ask! Elections for the Shop Committee (aka Bargaining Committee) and Shop Chair will be held once per year. 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. If you want to help out in other ways, feel free to reach out to iam.mamnegotiators@gmail.com and let us know! We always appreciate more help.