Fort Greene

BAM employees vote ‘yes’ to union

June 14, 2019 Mary Frost
Employees at the Brooklyn Academy of Music voted overwhelmingly to unionize. Eagle photo by Ned Berke

Employees across several departments at the Brooklyn Academy of Music voted by an overwhelming margin to unionize — joining Local 2110 UAW, the Technical, Office and Professional division of the United Auto Workers union.

The measure passed with 82 percent of the vote, BAM staffers tweeted out late Thursday.

Before the vote, BAM employees said on their website that they cared deeply about the academy, and unionizing would make the famous Fort Greene avant-garde venue stronger and more democratic.

“A union of, by, and for BAM administrative staff will give us a real seat at the table,” staffers said.

“BAM respects the decision of our employees and is committed to forging a good relationship like we have with the six other unions that represent BAM employees,” a BAM spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle following the vote.

The push to unionize had received some backing on social media. Composer Patricia Alessandrini, Brooklyn State Sen. Julia Salazar, the support staff at Columbia University, members of the musicians union Local 802 AFM, and even presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders voiced their support on Twitter.

Update: The election results will be certified by the National Labor Relations Board after one week, according to Local 2110 UAW.

“We expect to meet with BAM union members to discuss preparation for negotiations for a union contract,” Maida Rosenstein, president of Local 2110, told the Eagle on Friday.

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Rosenstein said the BAM union membership will be electing a union negotiating committee from among their own ranks to negotiate with with BAM executive management.

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Story updated on June 16, 2019 with a quote from Maida Rosenstein.

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