At first glance, it might be difficult to picture Paul R. Curran, Harvard’s current Director of Employee and Labor Relations, decked out in a blue wrestlers’ singlet. He stands with the posture of a lawyer, often in a dark suit with a pinstripe-patterned shirt, but almost always grinning.
On a day when workers and students took to the streets across the country to rally for minimum wage reform, over 200 Harvard affiliates gathered in front of Massachusetts Hall to push for higher wages and increased health benefits for Harvard’s dining services employees.
A Graduate Student Council member collects votes at a meeting Wednesday evening. In addition to voting for new leadership, the group discussed the amicus brief Harvard recently filed in opposition to graduate student unionization.
Several Harvard student groups urged University President Drew G. Faust to join their coalition aimed at improving campus dining service employees’ labor contract, presenting her with a letter Tuesday outlining what they consider problems with the agreement.
Harvard jointly filed an amicus brief Monday to the National Labor Relations Board arguing against the unionization of graduate students, joining other Ivy League universities, Stanford, and MIT.
A lengthy negotiation process between Harvard and its largest employee union has come to a conclusion as union members voted to ratify the tentative agreement.
Graduate student union organizers from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and the University of Connecticut discussed similarities in unionization efforts across public and private campuses in an event last week at Harvard Law School.
History graduate student Aaron T. Bekemeyer speaks about Harvard’s graduate student unionization effort at the ‘Graduate Workers’ Unions and the Law’ panel event Wednesday night. Commenting on increases in graduate student benefits that Harvard has already made after the launch of their campaign, Bekemeyer said it shows that “when we organize and when we act collectively, it matters”.
Tensions between the Harvard Club of Boston and its unionized employees intensified this weekend following the delivery of a collage of worker photos and the circulation of a petition from School of Public Health students in support of the union.
It is not clear what effect the deal will have on the status of Harvard’s non-ladder faculty—which currently is not represented by a union—even as the issue has gained increased attention.