Mutual Aid Fund Maine PMA Union

We are the staff of the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. We have been organizing a union in order to collectively bargain for better working conditions—part of a wave of unionization involving museum workers across the country, all seeking to make working in the arts a viable career option. 

With the decision to close the Museum to the public due to rising Covid-19 cases, the PMA has recently informed on-call staff there will not be hours for them to work in January 2021. Even before this, many PMA workers were being paid low hourly wages without health insurance or other benefits, making the on-call workers particularly financially vulnerable in these trying times. 

This is disheartening news and it is important we support each other through this. Because the PMA cannot currently provide support for its employees, the organizing committee for Maine PMA Union is organizing a Mutual Aid Fund for those who need fiduciary aid. Many have fallen between the cracks of the unemployment system, because of lack of language accessibility or mistakes made while filing. This disportionately tends to affect folks who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color. We will use the funds to prioritize our co-workers who run into problems with the unemployment filing system.

These donations are not tax deductible.

FAQ

Where will the funds go?

All funds donated will be used to pay living expenses for PMA employees who are affected by the closure: bills, food, rent, medical expenses, and other essential needs will be prioritized as needed.

Who obtains funds?

Money will be allotted to PMA workers who fill out a ticket using our Mutual Aid form . We hope to be able to provide up to $150 per month to help with problems like maintaining housing or food scarcity. Any excess funds will go to an emergency fund for exceptional cases of need, that considers both workers’ needs and the rate of fundraising. We will use the funds to prioritize our co-workers who run into problems with the unemployment filing system.

How is money distributed?

PMA staff are encouraged to apply for funding as needed and a small cohort of the subcommittee will be handling transfers of cash. Emergency needs that exceed the $150 limit will be reviewed based on the co-workers need and the rate of fundraising. We are grateful for the Maine DSA for housing these funds. Money will then be paid directly to employees from this fund through Venmo, or check.

What if I don’t need or have money?

The mutual aid network will also include ways to contribute outside of just money. You can offer transportation, or help prepare a meal for someone.

Who are we?

The Mutual Aid Fund subcommittee of the MainePMA Union-Local 2110 UAW is made up of Aaron Berger, Whitney Stanley, Leticia Plate, Meghan Quigley Graham, and Michaela Flint. Applications for assistance and fund distribution are managed only by Aaron Berger and Whitney Stanley, to ensure transparency while respecting the privacy of those applying for funding.

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Organizer

Maine DSA 
Organizer
Portland, ME
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