New Museum Union

Letter: New Museum Union Delegates Send Letter to Lisa Phillips in Light of Covid-19

March 24, 2020


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Dear Lisa Phillips,

We hope this email finds you in good health. First, we want to thank you for your leadership in closing the Museum and guaranteeing that everyone is paid these past two weeks. This has been crucial to ensuring the safety and survival of our staff and the entire New Museum community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

While uncertainty still surrounds this crisis, it seems clear that it will not be safe for the Museum to reopen at the end of this week. In light of this, we urge you to continue allowing those who are able to work from home to do so, and to continue paying all employees for the shifts they are or would have been scheduled for.

With the precarity of our members’ situations—our ability to sustain ourselves in one of the most expensive cities in the world amid a global crisis, our reliance on Museum health insurance to cover the care we may need in the coming weeks and months—we ask you not to resort to layoffs or furloughs in this critical moment. We understand that the economic situation right now is difficult for everyone, but we hope that you will look to cut costs and address expenses in other ways—including the Museum’s endowment—rather than let the most vulnerable bear the brunt of these difficulties. If unionized workers at the Museum are forced to make sacrifices as a result of COVID-19, these sacrifices should be distributed proportionately among all Museum staff, including those at the top.

We hope to work together with you to ensure the longstanding stability and well-being of the Museum, and of the workers who make it function.

Respectfully,

Dana Kopel, Unit Chair
Francesca Altamura, Delegate
Holly Harmon, Delegate

New Museum Union—UAW Local 2110