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Staff at Massachusetts science museum votes to unionize

July 9, 2021 GMT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Employees at a Massachusetts science and nature museum have voted to unionize after a year of mulling the decision.

EcoTarium announced Thursday that 22 employees voted to join the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 93, the Telegram & Gazette reported.

EcoTarium public programs coordinator Rachel Quimby said employees chose to unionize after a year of unsustainable work.

“The staff here are some of the most talented, devoted, caring people I’ve ever worked with, but we weren’t being supported,” Quimby said. “Decisions were being made without our input, decisions we did not agree with, and there was a lot of secretive stuff happening behind closed doors that we were totally cut out of.”

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EcoTarium’s Board of Trustees announced last summer that 70% of the staff would be laid off, a move Quimby said was unexpected and contradicted what staff had been told.

Unionizing “allows us to create the kind of workplace that we want and that we think is going to best, so we can better serve the community,” Quimby said.