I would now like to address Pete's response to my comment.
Proposal 1: Standardizing Museum Studies (aka, standard test or application for all incoming workers)
Pete responds to this proposal with, "Something I’m entertaining in my mind is for Museum Studies programs to act as the interview and recruitment departments for museums."
In the case of my Museum Studies program, this actually happened already. We were filtered directly into museums for our internships. Unfortunately, most of the students who had those 2 month internships were not then offered jobs at these institutions. So the museums saw applications from us, and in some cases interviewed us as well, while we were still in the program. The reality was that there were not any jobs when we finished in Sept 2008.
Our proposition is to create a better way for museums to filter applications. Granted, if there are no jobs to be had, having the best filtering process in the world does not help.
Proposal 2: Unionizing Museum Workers
Pete responds to this proposal with, "I don’t know. I like the idea of a group to institute change but I’m not keen on power politics. As I notice with most museum membership organisations, they tend to benefit the few or are under constant threat of becoming irrelevant. I suppose it would be how such a union would be set up. Again, I don’t know if it would provide more positives."
Of course, we would not want the union to create any more political issues. Museums are already chock-full of bureaucracy. We don't need any more. What we do need is to give enough money to the museum's workers to make it worth ~6 years of higher education (in the USA) to get to work in a museum. Somehow, that debt has to be paid off. And living paycheck to paycheck is not that way.
I'd like to thank Pete for his initial post, as well as his follow up to my comments. Please continue the conversation in the comments here.