AFSCME DC 37 is the largest union of museum and cultural workers in New York City, representing more than 4,200 members across the city. AFSCME members for years have been a strong collective voice advocating for fair wages and working conditions for museum employees, as well as additional funding for our city’s many fine cultural institutions. We work in a variety of critical roles – such as Docents, Artists, Instructors, Preparators, Attendants, Maintenance, Security, Technicians, Librarians, and more – in museums and cultural institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, New York City Hall of Science, New York Public Library, El Museo del Barrio, the New York Botanic Garden, the New York Aquarium, and Central Park Zoo.
“I’m happy to have a union that’s here for us,” said Met security guard and AFSCME DC 37 Local 1503 member William Vance. “Right away, Rep. Dan McCabe and President Rawle Campbell went to work; meeting with management to protect our health, our jobs, and negotiate pay and benefits during this crisis.”
“Library workers are a diverse group of people who strive to provide excellent service,” said Val Colon, president of the New York Public Library Guild, Local 1930, and vice president of DC 37. “Libraries are no longer just about books, but a whole lot more. Library services are ever-expanding to meet not only the needs of the communities they serve, but society as a whole.
AFSCME DC 37 museum and cultural workers are on the front lines of protecting and maintaining some of our nation’s most prized cultural institutions as well as winning for its members.
As Museums Close, Local 1503 Members Stand Guard
At the Met, AFSCME security guards patrol the halls and protect the museum’s precious collection of fine art while its doors are temporarily closed to the public due to the COVID crisis.
Met Museum Tells Staff It Is Extending Pay Until May 2
In March 2020, the Met announced it will continue to pay its staff through May 2 while closed to the public, and that their essential workers would receive hazard pay.
Local 1559 Members Win Promotions and Pay Hike at American Museum of Natural History
In December 2019, DC 37 won promotions and back pay of $27,000 for Local 1559 preparators at the New York American Museum of Natural History.
HVAC Workers at Met Win Huge Pay Hike
In August 2019, HVAC workers and DC 37 members won an unprecedented 63% pay hike for licensed heating and ventilation workers at three New York City museums: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Met Breuer, and the Met Cloisters.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Worker Wins Wage Hike and Back Pay
After eight months of labor-management meetings, DC 37 Local 374 has won a wage hike and retroactive pay that adds about $1,400 to the annual salary of a Brooklyn Botanic Garden employee.