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Haril Patel Strike In Modern Art Museum Of New York The Professional and Administrative Staff Association PASTA of The Museum of Modern Art MoMa represting 250 administrative assistants archivists curatorial staff conservators educators graphic artists librarians salespeople secretaries visitor assistants and writers Their union started the strike on April 28 2000 The central issues involve salaries healthcare the threat of layoffs and union rights The old contract expired October 31 1999 This is the first major strike at the museum since 1973 The Professional and Administrative Staff Association PASTA which is Local 2110 of the United Auto Workers represent the strikers They comprise a varied workforce of administrative assistants archivists curators conservators graphic artists librarians salespeople secretaries visitors assistants and writers PASTA is one of six unions in the museum The members of the other five bargaining units are continuing to work The workers have rejected the museums offer of a three percent raise a year for three years and is demanding five percent for the first year and four percent for the subsequent years in a five-year contract The strikers believe that this demand is more than justified considering the very low wages they receive which they say are even lower than what is paid in other museums for comparable work The median wage for the employees is 28000 a year and the starting salary for 40 of the workers is 17000 a year which is nothing Furthermore the union says that the museum is refusing to maintain the employees health insurance and other benefits PASTA maintains that MoMA has been very successful in its investments and could easily afford a decent salary hike while maintaining benefits The workers feel that their wages are being held down while the managers are more than amply compensated Another issue provoking the strike is job security The museum is undergoing a 650
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