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Chambermaids in University dormitories will ask for a five-day week when present contracts expire this spring, the Harvard University Employee's Representative Association announced yesterday.
Daniel G. Mulvihill, leader of the independent union whose 800 members are all University-employed, stated his determination to "argue hard" for the five-day week. A spokesman for the Department of Buildings and Grounds stated last night that he could not say whether the University would meet the employees' demands.
Under present arrangements the maids work alternating Saturdays. Those remaining on duty take over the chores of the women who are off.
Recently, there have been numerous complaints from the Union's 250 maids on the rough-and-ready housekeeping practiced by University students, Mulvihill revealed. "Conditions in the dormitories are sloppier than over," the maids claim.
Mulvihill made it clear that the maids have no quarrel with the students. But the fact remains, he said, that "their work has been made harder" by the increasing carelessness of the men.
Five-Day Demand Last Year
Last spring, the Union requested a five-day week for all janitors and maids. At that time, the janitors' demand was not met, but the maids were put on the present scheduling of alternating Saturdays.
The dissatisfaction of the maids does not stem merely from the condition of student rooms. Most of them feel that their work is harder than it ever was.
One reason for this, they say, is that in many cases the number of suites a maid must clean is excessive. Another stumbling block, according to Mulvihill, is the double-decker beds which remain as holdovers from the war. These beds are harder to make than the standard kind.
Mulvihill explains that while the maids now are paid 75 cents an hour as compared to the 42 cents they received before the war, they still do not feel that the increase justifies the extra work they are now doing. The problem will be set before the University in a conference this May.
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