Daily Labor Report® is the objective resource the nation’s foremost labor and employment professionals read and rely on, providing reliable, analytical coverage of top labor and employment...
Oct. 25 — UNITE HERE-represented food service workers at Harvard University will vote Oct. 26 on a five-year labor contract, a proposal that could fully restore dining hall services at the Ivy League school.
Details of the proposed deal are being withheld pending results of the ratification vote, according to Local 26 President Brian Lang. The workers, who walked off the job Oct. 5, will remain on strike until completion of the vote, he added.
The deal, covering about 750 workers at the school, was reached early Oct. 25, a spokeswoman for the Cambridge, Mass., university told Bloomberg BNA. The contract negotiations started in May and were recently aided by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
Katie Lapp, executive vice president at Harvard, released a separate statement describing the tentative deal as “a fair and reasonable resolution to negotiations.”
The proposal “maintains superior compensation for our dining workers,” the statement said.
“We also sought an agreement that recognizes the importance of carefully stewarding University finances as we pursue our academic mission in a period of constrained resources,” she said. “We are confident that this agreement achieves both of these goals.”
Local 26 and university negotiators have been divided on wages and health insurance benefits. The union sought a contract offering affordable health insurance for workers and providing $35,000 minimum annual pay.
The university has defended its current pay scale and has proposed contract offers to share in more of the cost of health insurance. The concept would mirror coverage for about 5,000 other union-represented Harvard employees, the university has said.
The union has previously rejected several contract proposals, including a heath insurance package that would cost about $104 monthly for an individual and $281 for a family. The union also rejected a proposal to raise wages to $24.08 per hour by the end of a five-year contract and to offer a $250 weekly stipend for workers during breaks when college classes aren’t offered. Food service workers currently earn an average of $21.89 an hour, according to the union.
Local 26 negotiators have demanded a roughly 22.5 percent wage increase, pushing hourly wages to nearly $27, or about $3 more than the university’s offer, over a four-year contract. They also wanted a stipend of up to $450 per week during the recesses.
The strike has forced disruptions of food service on campus. The university has tried to limit the impact by seeking volunteers from the school’s “exempt” employee rolls, including deans.
Students and alumni have staged a series of on-campus events supporting the striking workers. One of the latest included students walking out of classes Oct. 24 and orchestrating a sit-in at the administrative offices, a protest that lasted into the early morning hours Oct. 25, according to Local 26’s website.
To contact the reporter on this story: Tyrone Richardson in Washington at email@example.com
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)