Sunday, September 24, 2017

Tell the Muste Institute: Respect Workers' Rights!

A message from the AJ Muste Staff Union
September 24, 2017

“We'll meet with you, but we won't consider your proposals. We're done bargaining.”

That's not an exact quote of Muste management. But it's pretty close. They have agreed to meet with us this Tuesday, September 26 … but here's what they said:
Jane Guskin’s termination is not an issue to be discussed at the bargaining table. … [W]e are happy to meet with you and discuss the contract. As we said at the end of our last meeting, this version is our best offer. We can talk about minor adjustments, but if we cannot come to an agreement, we will have reached an impasse.
Why an impasse? There are still unresolved points to work through in the contract, and we deserve answers to our questions about Jane's unjust firing. We've put a lot of time and energy into this process because we want a contract that upholds A.J. Muste's values and makes us all proud. We're not there yet.

Help us keep the pressure on! Tell Muste management:
  • Bargain in good faith and give fair consideration to the union's contract proposals.
  • Meet with the union to resolve Jane's unjust termination.

Please act now! If you haven't yet taken action, there's still time!
  • Sign our online petition: and forward it to your friends and contacts.
  • Write your own letter, expressing your concerns about Muste management's refusal to bargain in good faith, and about Jane's firing. Address it to the Muste Institute board of directors, and email it to the union at Be sure to say in your letter if you are a grantee, donor, sponsored project, tenant, ally/partner group, current or former Muste board member, etc.
Our message:
  • Muste management's refusal to continue bargaining is an insult to the legacy of A.J. Muste, who was known for his commitment to dialogue, as well as for his activism for workers' rights.
  • Jane's termination violates the Muste Institute personnel policy, and is an attack on our independent union's struggle for workplace justice.
  • Jane's termination violates three of the “shared understandings” that Muste management has agreed to uphold and to enshrine in the collective bargaining agreement:
    • The staffing policies and practices of the Employer should reflect at all times the values of nonviolence, social justice, fairness, and equality which are at the core of AJMMI’s mission.
    • People work best when they are treated with respect and care for their human needs.
    • Investment in staff knowledge and experience serves AJMMI’s mission.

Solidarity forever! An injury to one is an injury to all!

Questions? Email us at

Monday, August 21, 2017

Three years after we formed our union, we're still trying to win a first contract. It has been a roller coaster. Stay tuned for an update in the next few days. Or if you're curious, email us for details at musteunion at gmail.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

We Are the A.J. Muste Staff Union!

As staff members of the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, we are excited to announce that the Muste Institute's Board of Directors voted on December 10, 2014, to voluntarily recognize the A.J. Muste Staff Union to represent us.

A.J. Muste's early activism was as a labor organizer, and he remained fiercely committed to the rights of workers throughout his career. We are proud to continue that legacy, and to set an example for other nonprofit workers. And we are gratified that the Muste Institute board has demonstrated its commitment to “walking the walk” of supporting worker organizing.

We look forward to a new chapter at the Muste Institute, in which the mutual respect and strong collaboration we already enjoy will be deepened through the framework of a collective bargaining agreement.

Please help us thank and congratulate the Muste Institute for taking this important step:

- Send a contribution to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute for its work supporting nonviolent action for social justice; write a pro-union message such as “I welcome the union!” or “Congrats on the union!” on the memo line or on a separate note with your gift. (Mail checks to AJMMI at 339 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012 or donate online here)

- Show us some love! “Like” the Muste Staff Union on Facebook (click here!), and follow us on Twitter (@MusteUnion). Not on social media? Send us an email, so we can keep in touch with you.

- Spread the word about the Muste Staff Union through social media and word of mouth. Attention from progressive or mainstream media is welcome, too—email us at

Thanks for your support!