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Maids Meet, Protest New University Work Schedules


Disgruntled by a University-wide re-shuffling of their work assignments, about 200 chambermaid members of the Harvard University Employees Representative Association met in union headquarters yesterday to air their grievances.

New work schedules, issued early this week by the University, were the cause of the unrest. About 20 maids lodged formal complaints.

The rescheduling was necessary, according to Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds Cecil A. Roberts, because of the large number of men (nearly 200) who left college dormitories in the February graduations.

Object to Switching

Many maids objected to being switched from one set of suites to another; others found only minor changes in their duties; some found no changes at all. Very few of the maids were transferred from one building to another.

Roberts said no maids had been fired. He has invited union officials to meet with him early next week to discuss the formal complaints.

Daniel G. Mulvihill, head of HUERA, praised Roberts' "spirit of co-operation" and his desire to "make things right." In spite of present complaints by the maids, Mulvihill feels that the union is "really on the road to big improvements" in work schedules. In May, the Union will ask for a regular five-day week for the maids.

At the meeting the union president read a letter from Roberts promising "no wholesale shifting of maids from building to building without a valid reason." Such large-scale shifting has long been a source of grievance.

Many of the recent complaints have been from women who dislike leaving suites in which they "know the boys." They "get used to a certain round of duties," Mulvihill said, "and they don't like to readjust."

Mulvihill felt that Roberts' promise to "keep schedules as steady as possible" means the end of large scale shifting of maids between buildings and will make for better relations in the future.

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