Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we forming our union at the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA)? 

We are organizing Baltimore Museum of Art Union to establish a strong voice for all BMA employees to advocate for ourselves, our community and our museum. Our union will enable us to address important concerns like job security, fair and livable wages, inclusive decision-making and greater transparency from our museum’s administrationThrough a legally binding contract, we will be able to negotiate our priorities with management to make the museum the best it can be for employees, visitors, and the community. 

Who and what is a union? 

We are the union. We made the decision to form our union. We will decide what priorities to negotiate for and we will elect our own leadership to uphold and enforce the contract. A union is a group of workers coming together to make real change in their workplace regarding their wages, benefits and working conditions. 

Who is AFSCME? 

AFSCME is a union of 1.4 million members. These members have our back and will support us, along with resources like experienced negotiators, educators, attorneys, and researchers. AFSCME also represents over 35,000 other cultural workers, more than any other union. Learn more at 

What does the process of organizing a union look like? How long will it take? 

We are counting on all of our co-workers to sign a union card. Upon recognition of our union, either voluntarily or through a secret ballot election, we will sit down with management and negotiate a contract that reflects our priorities. The process will go as quickly as we move it. 

How might management respond? 

We can’t control how management will respond. We can only control our own actions. We have the legal right to form a union. The more of us who are openly in solidarity with each other, the safer we all are. Your voice will make a difference. 

Retaliation by leadership is absolutely illegal. It is against the law for your manager or any other member of leadership to: 

  • demand you tell them how you are voting 

  • threaten to fire you if you vote yes 

  • offer you rewards to vote no 

  • otherwise retaliate in any way 

  • intimidate, coerce, and otherwise influence 

If you experience any of the above violations, please report such activity to [email protected] 

What if management finally listens and says they are going to fix things? 

It’s great that management is finally hearing us, and if they are sincere about making lasting change, it shouldn’t be an issue to sit down with us, negotiate improvements and put them into a contract. Our union will help create policies and initiatives created for us by us. We are in the best position to advocate for ourselves and understand how policies will impact us firsthand. 

How will forming our union affect our benefits? 

Once we form our union, it is illegal for management to make any changes to our benefits without negotiating with our elected bargaining team. We start with what we have and negotiate improvements. Without a union, management can change our benefits at any time. 

I want to know more about the union. Who can help me? 

Email us at [email protected] to set up a time to talk with a co-worker or union organizer one-on-one.