More than 150 support staff members and union organizers braved the cold yesterday to attend a lunchtime rally for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW).
The "Rally for Recognition" was organized to show staff enthusiasm for HUCTW while University administrators are busy deciding whether to appeal a court decision upholding last spring's union election, organizers said.
Holding brightly colored balloons and signs, and sporting HUCTW and Dukakis/Bentsen buttons, the ralliers marched in a circle for an hour in front of the Holyoke Center, chanting "the decision has been made, Harvard come on, don't delay."
Union organizers said they had hoped President Bok would announce his decision on the appeal in time for the rally. HUCTW leader Kris Rondeau said she still hoped the announcement would come today.
If Bok decides not to appeal the decision, theunion will be certified, and contract negotiationsshould begin by the end of the year. However, ifthe University does appeal, the union's fate couldbe tied up in court for several more years whilethe five-member National Labor Relations Board(NLRB) reviews the judge's decision.
Judge Joel A. Harmatz handed down his decisionon the validity of the union election last weekafter reviewing records from eight days ofhearings and thousands of pages of legal briefsfrom HUCTW and Harvard. The University had chargedthe union with illegal election day tactics whichit claimed may have effected the outcome of theclose vote.
The judge's decision dismissed all of theUniversity's charges, calling its arguments"frivolous," and accusing Harvard of"misrepresentation" of the facts in the case.
Support staff members at the rally said theywere certain the University would decide to appealthe judge's ruling.
"I think they might [file], but it would beunwise to," said Susan D. Radovsky, a WidenerLibrary employee. "The entire national labor unionis watching."
Kathy A. McGovern, another Widener employee,agreed that the University probably will file, "ifit follows its track record.