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Police Talks Remain Deadlocked


Contract negotiations between the University and the Harvard Police Association remained stalled through the summer, with each side maintaining it is waiting for the opposition to make the next move.

Henry Wise '18, attorney for the 46-member policemen's union, said yesterday that any further movement in the nine-month-old talks depends on the administration's reaction to union suggestions regarding a proposed set of departmental regulations.


Wise said the union is waiting for Joe B. Wyatt, vice president for administration, to react to a memo that Laurence F. Letteri, president of the police association, sent Wyatt earlier this month. The memo contained the union's comments on a number of proposed changes in the department's procedures.

Wyatt could not be reached for comment last night. Letteri would not comment on the contents of his memo yesterday, and would say only that "things have stayed dead" in the negotiations.

The contract talks have proceeded fitfully since the policemen's original contract expired on January 1. The talks broke down continuously as the policemen complained about the efforts of David L. Gorski, former chief of the University police, to reorganize the force.

The union maintained that Gorski's organizational innovations, which included the introduction of a new computer assignment system and the creation of a special anti-crime task force, were disrupting the union and lowering morale on the force.

Coming to Terms

Gorski unexpectedly resigned last March, and Wyatt named William A. Lee, a labor-relations expert, as acting chief. Despite Lee's efforts, however, the two sides have been unable to come to terms.

The negotiations, which continued until July 5 under a special contract extension, seemed near a successful conclusion early this summer, but a dispute over the scope of union bargaining authority derailed the talks. Letteri said Harvard's failure to guarantee job security to officers who fail their mandatory physical examinations was part of "a big all-out effort to break up the union" by using the physicals as an excuse to weed out uncooperative union members.

Harvard responded to Letteri's accusations by withdrawing all its previous contract offers from the bargaining table.

Edward W. Powers, associate general counsel for employee relations, has maintained since then that the next move in the talks is up to the union.

"The ball is still in their court," Powers said last week.

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