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The Salary Agenda

Broken Piggy Bank
  1. Establish and promote national salary standards for museum positions requiring advanced degrees.

  2. Encourage museums to demonstrate the importance of human capital in their organizations.

  3. Make salary transparency part of the StEPS (AASLH) and accreditation process (AAM).

  4. Support organizations in understanding the need for endowment to support staff salaries. A building and a collection don't guarantee a museum's future. People do.

  5. Create a national working group for #Museumstaffmatters.What Institutions Can Do: 

  6. Encourage networking and individual staff development.

  7. Make every effort to provide salaries that exceed the Living Wage.

  8. Educate boards regarding the wastefulness of staff turnover.

  9. Make criteria for salary levels transparent.

  10. Examine the gaps among the director's salary, the leadership team and the remaining staff.

  11. Offer equitable health and family leave benefits (and make them available on Day One of a new hire's tenure).What Individuals Can Do: 

  12. Do your homework. Understand the community and region where you plan to work.

  13. Be prepared to negotiate. Be prepared to say no. A dream job isn't a dream if your parents are still paying your car insurance and your mobile phone bills.

  14. Ask about the TOTAL package not just salary. If you are the trailing spouse and don't need health insurance but do need time, make that part of your negotiations.

  15. Network. Know what's going on in your field, locally, regionally, nationally.What Graduate Programs Can Do:

  16. Be open about job placement statistics.

  17. Teach students to negotiate salaries and benefits.

  18. Teach students to calculate a Living Wage plus loan payments and quality of life.

  19. Encourage networking, mentoring and participation in the field.


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