CMA Workers United and AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Ask Columbus Museum of Art Management for Voluntary Union Recognition

For Immediate Release

August 29, 2022

Namita Waghray (440) 305-1117 or [email protected]

Columbus Museum of Art Employees form CMA Workers United and File for a Union

CMA Workers United and AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Ask Columbus Museum of Art Management for Voluntary Union Recognition

(Columbus, OH) - The Columbus Museum of Art (CMA) employees informed the Museum’s management of their intent to organize a union and are requesting voluntary recognition of their union with AFSCME Ohio Council 8, on Monday, August 29, 2022. CMA Workers United includes frontline and operations museum staff that, while committed to making art accessible and available to the general public, citing management’s lack of respect and thoughtlessness towards employees, the brushing aside of proposals for meaningful changes to the museum’s operations, and disregard for the health and safety of employees during the pandemic, as the primary reasons for their organizing efforts. Members of CMA Workers United believe they can best address these issues by coming together to form a union.  Click here to read the full statement that employees delivered to CMA’s administration and leadership at noon on Monday, August 29, 2022.

“COVID drastically changed the nonprofit landscape and the experience of working for CMA. Staff was repeatedly exposed to unsafe working conditions without a meaningful voice in the decision-making process. Our hope is that organizing through CMA Workers United will ensure that CMA is better prepared to respond to the ongoing pandemic and any future emergency while respecting its employees.” Mark Harrison, is an Events Manager with CMA and a member of CMA Workers United. 

There is widespread support among Columbus elected leaders including Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, President Pro Tempore Columbus City Council Elizabeth Brown, Columbus City Council member Rob Dorans, all three Franklin County Commissioners, and other Columbus leaders. With this support and backing employees of the Museum hope the administration will voluntarily recognize their union so they can begin building a stronger and more equitable Columbus Museum of Art.

“CMA cannot effectively fulfill its mission without a strong, dedicated workforce. The goal of CMA Workers United is to ensure that the Museum is prepared to work with its employees, respecting their contributions and collective voice. CMA Workers United is committed to seeing this venerated cultural institution value, not just the community it serves but its employees that are vital to its operation.”  RG Barton, Visitor Engagement Floor Lead, CMA Workers United. 


AFSCME Ohio Council 8’s members provide the vital services that make Ohio happen. Our members are in communities across the state, serving as everything from nurses to social workers, child care providers to sanitation workers. AFSCME Ohio Council 8 is the largest union representing cultural workers in the state - We represent hundreds of cultural workers at institutions like zoos, libraries, and botanical gardens. AFSCME Ohio Council 8 advocates for fairness in the workplace, safe and healthy worksites, excellence in public services, and freedom and opportunity for all of Ohio’s working families.