The Walters Art Museum Will Hike Employee Pay By An Average Of 13% In 2023

The Walters Art Museum Will Hike Employee Pay By An Average Of 13% In 2023

Visitors walk past the "dam" sculpture at the Walters Museum of Art. The museum is increasing employee salaries in all areas in 2023. © Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun / TNS Visitors walk past the 'Dam' statue at the Walters Museum of Art. The museum is increasing employee salaries in all areas in 2023.

Walters Art Museum employees have reason to look forward to 2023. The museum announced Wednesday that it will accept a 13 percent salary increase for its employees.

For some part-time workers, the increase means their salary has increased by 39% in less than two years.

The museum said in a press release that the wage increase will apply to full-time and part-time workers, as well as interns. This will apply to employees and those paid by the hour.

The increase "demonstrates Walters' leadership's commitment to competitive compensation and to taking action when action needs to be taken," Tiara Chance, director of human resources at the museum, said in the press release.

He added that the increases "would benefit our staff and the museum as a whole."

The statement said the base rate for minimum wage workers will increase from $15 to $17 per hour for the January 2, 2023 pay period.

As of January 2021, full-time museum employees were making $14.25 an hour, while part-time employees were making $12.25 an hour.

Museum director Julia Mercery Alexander said the increases stem from a comprehensive compensation study conducted this summer that analyzed statewide pay rates for big-budget museums in high-cost-of-living cities. The committee decided that Walters should set the salary for each job at the national average.

“Competitive compensation is important for many reasons, including our ability to attract and retain employees across our organization,” Marchieri-Alexander said in the release.

He promised future trustees would "regularly reevaluate our compensation so we can keep pace with changes in the museum industry and maintain our competitiveness as an employer."

The museum conducted the pay study amid a long struggle by employees to be represented by a union of their choice.

Employees who had united as Walters Workers United announced plans to organize on April 30, 2021. Sixteen months later, those workers sued the museum directors in Baltimore County Court.

The lawsuit asks a judge to determine whether they are employees of the city of Baltimore and authorized to obtain copies of museum records, including minutes of board meetings, under the Maryland Public Information Act. Private sector workers are not subject to the data law.

Judge John S. of the Baltimore County Courthouse. Nugent is expected to issue a written rule in early 2023. His decision will have important implications for workers' desire to form a union bigger and possibly stronger than two separate units.

© 2022 The Baltimore Sun. Visit baltimoresun.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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