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Cal Academy museum workers vote to unionize

The California Academy of Sciences seen from the Hamon Observation Tower in the de Young Museum. | Source: Photo by Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

After months of organizing efforts, California Academy of Sciences museum employees have voted to unionize, the union, Cal Academy Workers United, said Monday.   

Union organizers said 77% of roughly 350 eligible workers voted and of those, 77% voted to unionize. 

Cal Academy Workers United will represent non-supervisory employees working in all areas of the museum, including guest experience, research, education, marketing and development, as well as all other areas of the research institution and museum, to have a voice in how the Academy is run, how funds are allocated and how employees are compensated.   

The union’s goals include negotiating better wages and benefits for workers, ensuring fair treatment and respect, and having a say in how the museum is run.  

“This is a victory for all of us who work at the Academy,” said Ian Hart, an exhibits preparator at the Academy and organizing committee member. “We’ve been working hard for this for months, and it’s an amazing feeling to see it come to fruition.”  

The California Academy of Sciences employees join the ranks of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, a union organization representing workers from other San Francisco museums, such as the De Young, Legion of Honor, Asian Art Museum, and Exploratorium.   

“The road ahead is just as important as we move towards contract negotiations,” organizing committee member Victoria Langlands said. “I look forward to continuing with my coworkers to ensure all staff’s needs are heard and addressed in a contract.”