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Jefferson County library and Denver Art Museum workers vote to form union Thursday

Posted at 12:49 PM, Mar 08, 2024

Jefferson County library and Denver Art Museum workers voted to form a union Thursday, the AFSCME Council 18 announced in a news release.

The council represents American Federation of State County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in New Mexico and Colorado.

"Jefferson County library workers made Colorado history by becoming the first group to organize a union under the state's new collective bargaining law for county employees," AFSCME 18 said.

Library workers have been struggling with low wages and workplace safety, according to AFSCME 18.

"Safety in particular is a concern, as libraries have become ground zero in culture wars and default social service agencies," AFSCME 18 said.

Jefferson County Public Library sent us the following statement in response:

"The results from the vote count on March 7 indicate that Jefferson County Public Library employees included in the collective bargaining unit have chosen the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (or AFSCME) as their exclusive representative. We thank all employees who voted and look forward to working with AFSCME."

Denver Art Museum employees also joined the movement on Thursday after what AFSCME 18 called an "especially aggressive anti-union campaign by the museum, which resulted in more than a dozen Unfair Labor Practice filings by workers."

Now that workers at the Denver Art Museum have joined the union, they want to prioritize adequate staffing, career advancement and wages that account for experience, tenure and continuing inflation, according to AFSCME.

The Denver Art Museum released the following statement reacting to the vote:

"On March 6 and 7, 2024, eligible Denver Art Museum employees participated in an election to determine whether staff would unionize. The ballots have been tallied, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has verified the tally of 120 to 59 vote in favor of electing the union. All employees in the bargaining unit of Denver Art Museum Workers United (DAMWU) will be represented by AFSCME-CWU. 

The museum supports employees’ right to unionize and is grateful for all those who voted and exercised their rights in this process. The museum is committed to bargaining in good faith with the union toward a Collective Bargaining Agreement."

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | March 8, 8am

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