Kidspace United wins union election

Workers at Kidspace Children’s Museum voted 82% in favor of forming a union with AFSCME District Council 36. The historic victory comes three months after workers announced their intent to form a union as Kidspace United.

The new union, which consists of 60 workers, such as play facilitators, guest service associates, animal program coordinators, and retail associates, marks the first time a children’s museum in Los Angeles County has successfully unionized.

The workers launched their campaign to organize Kidspace Children’s Museum earlier this year so they could 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.

Despite overwhelming support to form Kidspace United, management ultimately refused their request to voluntarily recognize their union and commenced a union-busting campaign that included spreading misinformation about dues and benefits during staff meetings, disciplining workers who used sick leave after working in excessive heat and engaging in an unprecedented hiring spree that saw over 80% increase in new staff. However, support for Kidspace United remained consistent throughout the organizing process. “Kidspace is a thriving piece of the Pasadena community, and the beautiful learning experiences that happen here couldn’t happen without workers,” said Carter Ward, who works as a guest associate. “I'm excited for us to have the collective power to demand respect and fair compensation for being the vital contributors we are.”

Kidspace United is the latest cultural institute to affiliate with AFSCME District Council 36. They join other cultural institutes, such as the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Academy Foundation, and the Living Desert Animal Care Union. “We are excited to see Kidspace Children’s Museum workers win their union election. This victory brings Kidspace United one step closer towards an improved workplace where their talent and contributions are valued,” said Walter Blair, administrator of AFSCME District Council 36. “We are thrilled to add another cultural institute to our AFSCME District Council 36 family.”