Academy Foundation Workers Union secures strong first contract


Nearly two years after forming their union, Academy Foundation Workers Union (AFWU) members have unanimously ratified their first union contract. The contract guarantees much-needed wage increases and addresses workplace issues that have afflicted workers for years.

Negotiations began six months ago, shortly after their sibling union, Academy Museum Workers United, ratified its first union contract. The AFWU bargaining team built on the groundwork laid by AMWU to secure a strong union contract that establishes an equitable pay structure codifies equitable practices already in place, and requires management to be transparent and forthcoming with information. “This contract is the most significant paradigm shift the Academy Foundation has experienced since its establishment in 1944”, said Jessi Jones, a film archivist at the Academy Foundation. “It means the workers have a voice at the Foundation. It means having power over our working conditions when we previously did not.”

The agreement includes wage increases between 11% and 27% over the 3-year term, language creating seniority rights to assist with scheduling preferences and protections against layoffs or reduction in force scenarios, and language establishing extra job protection for employees navigating the US immigration and naturalization process.

Additionally, the contract adds an additional 4 paid weeks of parental leave and will provide job protection for up to 26 weeks for employees on medical leave.

AFWU members join the long list of cultural workers nationwide who have successfully negotiated a union contract, secured a better future, and raised the bar for their industry. 

“Our contract has provided a sense of safety and security for membership,” said Jones. “That overall sense of having a say over our working lives has been incredibly empowering for our membership.”

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