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Kidspace Children’s Museum workers announce plans to build power through AFSCME

Photo Credit: Kidspace United
Kidspace Children’s Museum workers announce plans to build power through AFSCME
By AFSCME Council 36 ·

PASADENA, California – Workers at the Kidspace Children’s Museum have launched their campaign to become the first unionized children’s museum in Los Angeles County.

The workers are organizing as Kidspace United and are seeking to build power through AFSCME District Council 36. The new union would include approximately 60 workers, such as play facilitators, guest service associates, animal program coordinators, retail associates and more.

According to a letter circulated by Kidspace United’s organizing committee, workers are forming the union to advocate for livable wages, opportunities for advancement, clearly defined job responsibilities, appropriate workloads, consistent staff training and support, transparency and a voice in the museum's decision-making process. Members of Kidspace United also believe that the museum will be a better institution if staff work together with management.

“I am choosing to unionize because we as workers should be compensated for our time and effort enriching our community. We want to feel valued and deserve to be compensated properly,” said Sabrina Blankinship, a Kidspace retail associate and a member of the union’s organizing committee. “Forming a union will give us a proper structure to ensure that these values are met and embedded in our work culture.”

Susana Zhong, a play facilitator at the museum, said she values Kidspace, its mission, “and the work we do to serve the children and families in our community. I also believe in the power of unions as a voice for workers.”

Kidspace United's organizing campaign follows the success of other children’s museums across the country who have successfully unionized with AFSCME Cultural Workers United (CWU).

Workers at major museums in Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and other cities have formed unions through CWU. Brooklyn Children’s Museum in New York, Please Touch Museum in Pennsylvania and Iowa Children's Museum are three children’s museums where workers have formed unions through CWU. As the leading union for cultural workers nationwide, more than 10,000 museum workers and 25,000 library workers have turned to AFSCME to form unions.

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