Police Union Starts Publicity Campaign

Seeks Support in Contract Negotiation

The University patrol officer's union launched an extensive publicity campaign over the weekend in an effort to win support for the union in its ongoing contract negotiations with Harvard.

The Harvard Police Association, the negotiating group for the Harvard University Police Department's patrol officers, placed a two-page color advertisement in a campus publication and paid for a plane to fly over the Head of The Charles regatta with a banner reading "Support the Harvard Police for a fair contract."

"This is only the beginning," police Union President Robert Kotowski said yesterday.

The two-page advertisement, placed in the Head of The Charles regatta supplement published by The Crimson, list 10 dangerous incidents involving Harvard officers this year. The lists includes major arrests made by the police as well as encounters with "violent" and "combative" suspects.

Kotowski said the 10 incidents mentioned in the advertisement are representative of patrol officers' dangerous work. "There are probably 80 or 90 such incidents from this year alone that I will publicize," he said.


The newspaper advertisement asks members of the Harvard community to call Associate Director of Labor Relations Carolyn R. Young '76 to request a "fair and equitable contract" for the officers.

Young, one of four Harvard representatives negotiating with the officers' union, said in a telephone interview last week that negotiations between Harvard and the union are currently "suspended," but that the two groups are still in communication. Harvard and the union have been working on a new contract since the last one expired 15 months ago.

"If the University chooses not to recognize theserious crime that happens on all its campuses,that's fine. But I won't stand by and let them usethat against officers in trying to downplay theserious, dangerous job the University police do,"Kotowski said.

Young said "the administration is very wellaware of the work [the police] do."

A reference in the advertisement to a Marchincident recalls a subject who was "spitting bloodand saliva at Officers Sweetland Sullivan andGriffin, [the suspect was] yelling 'I have AIDSand I'm going to give it to you."

Kotowski has long charged that the police donot have adequate shower facilities to washthemselves after such incidents. A Crimsoninvestigation earlier this fall of workingconditions at the 29 Garden St. police departmentheadquarters uncovered longstanding maintenanceproblems throughout the locker rooms and showerarea. Kotowski and other officers say the showerhas not been used in more than a year.

Young, who in the past has said she believes"agreements are usually reached at the table,"said last week that she had "no objection" to theunion's hiring of a plane with a banner asking fora fair contract for Harvard officers. "We thinkwe're trying to do exactly that," Young said.

Young has repeatedly declined to comment on theUniversity's offer. She has said it is comparableto recent offers made to other Harvard unionswhich she said received "an average [raise] ofsomewhere between three percent or less."

The University's "final offer" to the PatrolOfficers is three percent for 1992 and 2.6 percentfor 1993, the advertisement says. Theadvertisement also says that Harvard's sergeantsand lieutenants received five to six percentraises in 1992 and a four to 4.5 percent raise in1993.

Kotowski said Young has a skewed notion of whatconstitutes a "fair" contract. "I don't know whather definition of fair is. A synonym of fair isequal and the numbers aren't equal, therefore it'snot fair," Kotowski said.

"We're happy to resume talks at any time,"Young said, "but I also will tell you we have feltno real pressure from administration or fromanyone for that matter."