News

‘It’s a Limbo’: Grad Students, Frustrated by Harvard’s Response to Bullying Complaint, Petition for Reform

News

Community Groups Promote Vaccine Awareness Among Cambridge Residents of Color

News

Students Celebrate Upcoming Harvard-Yale Game at CEB Spirit Week

News

Harvard Epidemiologist Michael Mina Resigns, Appointed Chief Science Officer at eMed

News

Harvard Likely to Loosen Campus Covid Restrictions in the Spring, Garber Says

HUCTW Prepares for Upcoming Negotiations

Union members, students, and community members marched to Memorial Church on Thursday to support the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW). Speakers called for salary increases and health care benefits from the University.
Union members, students, and community members marched to Memorial Church on Thursday to support the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW). Speakers called for salary increases and health care benefits from the University.
By William C. Skinner and Emma K. Talkoff, Crimson Staff Writers

The Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers has begun electing representatives and holding strategy meetings for contract negotiations scheduled to begin with University administrators in late March.

While the union is still in the process of developing the specifics of negotiations, HUCTW Director Bill Jaeger said the the union is likely to bring in public health or policy experts from the University to serve as advisors during the negotiations.

A HUCTW event in 2013
A HUCTW event in 2013 By Ann-Marie Y Barrett

“Neutral, academic subject matter expertise or advice, especially in the healthcare area, could be really important,” Jaeger said. “I think some of our health care negotiations in recent years haven’t gone particularly well. Maybe we need to find a third way or fourth way.”

Jaeger said HUCTW and the University observe an informal agreement not to bring in outside legal counsel during negotiations.

In addition to facilitating the election of representatives for negotiations, HUCTW leaders also held the first of more than 60 planned strategy meetings last Tuesday to discuss goals for the upcoming negotiations.

“In these meetings, we have been discussing the fact that we are facing challenges and how we might approach those from a different direction to make things go better for everybody,” said Carrie E. Barbash, a union organizer  for HUCTW.

Barbash said the meetings are particularly targeted at union members who have not experienced a labor negotiation before. Roughly 1,500 members of the nearly 5,000-member union are new to the negotiation process, according to Jaeger.

Another goal of the meetings, Jaeger said, is to explain the background of negotiation conflicts in the recent past.

“I think it is broadly understood that we had a troubled set of talks in 2012-2013,” Jaeger said. “When you look at the history of this relationship, in the long arc of it, the Union and the University have done a lot of innovative and progressive things together in terms of Harvard and the workplace.”

In a newsletter to Harvard leadership sent Friday morning, University Executive Vice President Katie N. Lapp emphasized the University’s desire for productivity in the upcoming negotiations.

“We begin this conversation committed to ensuring good wages and benefits that protect our employees, respect their service, provide opportunities for growth and advancement, and acknowledge the financial realities they and the university face today and into the future,” Lapp wrote in the newsletter.

—Staff writer William C. Skinner can be reached at wskinner@college.harvard.edu. Follow him on Twitter @wskinner.

—Staff writer Emma K. Talkoff can be reached at emmatalkoff@college.harvard.edu.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags
CollegeCentral AdministrationLaborUniversityFront FeatureCollege NewsUniversity NewsHealth Benefits