DC 37 at the Museum

Who is DC 37?

District Council 37 is New York City’s largest public employee union. Since 1944, DC 37 has been providing the services that make the City of New York one of the best in the world. They represent thousands of people across the city like teachers, medical workers, museum workers, clerks, technicians, maintainers, librarians, caregivers, and more. They’re also part of AFSCME— the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees— with more than 1.6 million members like us nationwide.

Who is Local 1503?

Local 1503 is the existing chapter of DC 37 at The Met. Representing over 700 employees within the museum today, Local 1503 has fought for better working conditions and better benefits since 1957. Whether it’s better pay, more say on the job, or better job security, Local 1503’s presence at the museum has made a positive impact on workers and allowed our colleagues to make their voices heard. Our colleagues in Local 1503 are cheering for those of us without representation as we head towards a wall-to-wall union!

Who is CWU?

Cultural Workers United represents over 35,000 cultural workers across the country, more than any other union, including 10,000 museum workers at 100 cultural institutions. They are a division of AFSCME and represent full-time and part-time roles, such as curators, conservators, researchers, librarians, archivists, preparators, HVAC technicians, visitor service associates, museum educators, art handlers, sales associates, artists, audio/visual employees, digital media specialists, data specialists, and more. Please click here to see the full list of museums and institutions that AFSCME CWU represents.

Why should I choose DC 37 to represent me?

District Council 37 is the only union that can bring a wall-to-wall union to the Met. With wall-to-wall, we have the collective bargaining power of over 1000 workers on our side. Together, we can create solidarity amongst everyone at The Met and The Cloisters: from curatorial, to visitor experience, retail, gardens, IT, the library, administration, and more (not to mention security, maintanence, and our technicians already in the union).

DC 37 is also part of AFSCME’s Cultural Workers United, which has garnered victories at institutions like the American Natural History Museum, BAM, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Children's Museum, El Museo del Barrio, LA MOCA, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. DC 37 is a political powerhouse, with recent wins in the mayor’s office and during the pandemic when they helped decrease museum layoffs. Furthermore, they’re the only union that has negotiated premium-free health benefits & comprehensive pension plans for museum/cultural union members.


Organizing workers at The Met

As part of an ongoing campaign, the DC 37 Organizing Department has held events like Union Day at the Met such as the one pictured above from October 27, 2022. A steady stream of museum workers packed the room to learn about the benefits and services the union provides. In addition, departments such as the union’s Municipal Employees Legal Services and the Personal Service Unit provided important information, while Organizers and Union Reps stressed the importance of workplace protections in becoming a Local 1503 member with potential members. DC 37’s Local 1503 represents workers in several titles at the museum (like our guards, technicians, and maintainers).