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Don't Blame Harvard


By Todd F. Braunstein

The staff's knee-jerk criticism of the University is unfair in this case for three reasons.

First, it's misguided: the staff should blame only the union's authorized delegates, who certainly do not need the University's compliance to attempt to represent their clients fairly.

Second, it's paternalistic: it assumes that the workers can't adequately look out for their own best interests in choosing their representatives and agreeing to contracts--or don't have the wherewithal to appeal to the government for help if the need arises.

Third, it's expensive: the funds for those well-paid administrators engaging in the dubious practice of overseeing their adversaries' representation have to come from somewhere, and the most likely target is student tuition dollars. (Last time I checked, there were no restricted funds for bureaucrats who represent both sides in Harvard's labor disputes.)

We all want the University to engage in fair labor practices, but the fault with the current contract rests with the union's representation, not with the University.

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