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Workers at Creative Growth vote to unionize

Creative Growth Gallery
Flickr user PunkToad
Flickr / Creative Commons
Creative Growth Gallery

For 50 years, Creative Growth Arts Center - located in downtown Oakland - has provided a supportive studio environment to artists with developmental and physical disabilities.

On Tuesday, staff at Creative Growth announced that they have voted to form a union. One hundred percent of the eligible staff - which includes art facilitators, instructors, program coordinators and gallery workers - have signed union authorization cards to affiliate with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees.

Workers at Creative Growth have cited lack of transparency in hiring practices, as well as benefits and pay scales as primary reasons for unionization. Benefits, like healthcare, become available to employees who work more than 21 hours a week. With a staff that is primarily part-time, these eligibility requirements have led to confusion around who qualifies.

The group is hoping to be voluntarily recognized by the organization’s management.

As reported by Oaklandside, leadership at Creative Growth has reached out to the union in order to begin a dialogue between the two parties.

Members from the union are planning to hold a rally outside of San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, which is hosting an exhibition celebrating Creative Growth’s 50 year anniversary. The show, titled Creative Growth: The House That Art Built, opens on Saturday April 6 and will run through October.

Pat McMahon is a member of the 2024 KALW Audio Academy, an audio producer, sound artist, and radio enthusiast.