HUCTW Signs New Pact With University

The Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) signed its new three-year agreement with the University Friday, giving employees a pay raise of more than four percent a year over the term of the contract.

President Neil L. Rudenstine said the contract, a continuation of the landmark 1989 agreement between the union and Harvard, is a "model report...other institutions are going to want to get at."

The pact creates a Work Security Committee to protect displaced Harvard employees by helping them find alternative position at the University.

The agreement also raises the salary cap for Harvard workers, a major point of dispute during the negotiations. The union has said the average support staff member, who now earns $23,000, will earn $26,660 by July 1994.

Other benefits include additional funding for child care assistance and outside education.

The agreement is the second for the union, whose first three-year contract with the University expired June 30, 1992. The contract is the result of six months of occasionally heated negotiations, officially settled January 7, between the union and the University.

"Whatever the complications...may have been, I see this as a general reflection...that we can work together, that we can do things jointly as the agreement suggests," Rudenstine said.

The signing of the contract came a day after an announcement by the administration that the University would soon provide health care coverage to same-sex domestic partners of University faculty and staff, a policy which the union had pressed for during the negotiations last fall.

A committee of administrators, faculty and union members formulated the new policy, which will go into effect next year.

Bill Jaeger, chief negotiator for the union, said the work security program and revised wage progression policy "will mean an HUCTW member never has to fear for her job...and that she can know that every year of her Harvard experience will be rewarded with real economic progress."

But union leaders said the agreement does not conclude their effort to improve the University's policy toward workers.

"It's been clear in the last few years that African-Americans and Latinos are concentrated in the lower-paying work class and are limited to moving up," Jaeger said.

"I can't wait until Monday morning rolls around so we can get ready for the next steps of progress," said HUCTW President Donene M. Williams.

Marion B. Gammill contributed to the reporting of this story.