News and Events

Extra Compensation for Extra Work

Many HUCTW members take on substantial additional work during course of their jobs—sometimes they cover the work of  coworkers who vacate their jobs or take leaves of absence, or sometimes they take on new responsiblities not previously held by others. No matter how the work comes about, union members who take on substantial additional work on top of their regular job duties should be paid for that work, and our Harvard-HUCTW Contract contains longstanding language that supports this idea. We’ve shared excerpts from some of the most relevant sections of our contract below.

Sometimes members or managers will ask whether extra work is part of a member’s regular job because most job descriptions include a line that reads “other duties as required.” This language refers to small or occasional tasks that vary from your core job description. It does not refer to more meaningful amounts of extra work that you take on for an extended period of time (such as when you cover for a supervisor for more than seven days or when you cover for a coworker for more than 20 days), which is covered by the contract language below.

Although managers or departments should initiate discussions around extra pay for extra work with their staff,  some times they do not. HUCTW organizers know that it can be challenging for you initiate this kind of conversation with your manager, but we can help. Union organizers can meet with members one-on-one for these kinds of consultations or we can meet with a group of coworkers from the same department who have all taken on significant extra work. All conversations are confidential.

Most often we advise and strategize with members behind the scenes about the best way to approach the discussions, but we can also play a direct advocacy role, meeting with managers and HR representatives on your behalf if needed. Over the years, we have helped thousands of members receive extra pay or job reclassifications for additional responsibilities they have taken on. If you would like assistance or if would like to discuss any of the contract language below, please reach out to your HUCTW organizer or write to and we’ll connect you with an organizer who works with your department.

Below we have provided the relevant excerpts from our Contract on (1) extra compensation, (2) job reclassification, and (3) overtime pay.

Contract Language on Extra Compensation

(1) Extra compensation is defined as an unusual, nonrecurring, or extraordinary payment for Harvard work which falls beyond an employee’s regular job assignment. When possible, managers should initiate a conversation about extra compensation when assigning extra work and the amount of extra compensation should be agreed upon. If the extra work continues beyond the expected timeline or scope, then the compensation will be reevaluated accordingly. Employees are encouraged to consult their union rep and/or HR if they have taken on extra work without extra compensation.

(2) Work for which extra compensation may be appropriate includes, but is not limited to:

  • Work not performed for the employee’s primary employing unit. Such work shall not interfere with the employee’sregular responsibilities and shall be performed outside the employee’s regular work schedule. Compensation for this work is to be negotiated between the employee and the departmental representative requesting the work. All hours over 40 must be paid at 1 ½ times the employee’s straight time rate for the workweek.
  • Work occasioned by the absence of a supervisor or co-worker: Ordinarily, extra compensation should be paid for such work when it is anticipated that work will be performed for more than 20 work days when covering for a co-worker or for more than 7 days when covering for a supervisor. Extra compensation for such duties assigned for shorter periods of time may be considered. Extra compensation will be set at a negotiated rate appropriate to the work performed. When the amount of extra compensation is being determined, criteria to consider include, but are not limited to: the salary grade relative to the work being performed, the percentage of job duties the employee is taking on, and the amount of time expected to complete the extra work.

(3) Extra compensation is not appropriate if additional duties become a permanent part of an employee’s regular job. A job review and possible change in job description, grade, or rate of compensation may be appropriate.”(Please see the section on Job Reclassification below if you have taken on additional duties permanently.)This is an excerpt. The full text of this section can be found in the Harvard-HUCTW Personnel Manual, page 32


Contract Language on Job Reclassification

“People and jobs are not static. They change constantly; sometimes gradually and sometimes rapidly. In order to keep up with these changes, job descriptions should be reviewed periodically and revised to reflect current responsibilities. Local managers are primarily responsible for ensuring that job classifications of individuals in their area remain 27 fair and equitable and properly reflect the duties and responsibilities assigned to them as well as the skills and effort required to do their jobs.

Whenever there have been substantive, measurable changes in a job’s content and responsibilities, which cause the job to appear inappropriately classified, a reclassification review should be initiated.

These reviews may be requested by a supervisor, a personnel officer or an employee. Regardless of who makes the request, it is important that the request be dealt with promptly and thoroughly. Ordinarily, the reclassification decision should take no longer than four weeks from the time it is submitted to a local personnel office. In cases where an employee has made the request, the personnel officer or supervisor should keep her or him informed of the review’s status, including a general sense of when a decision can be expected.

The University Joint Reclassification Committee, composed of equal representation from the Union and the University, will review and assist in the resolution of cases not settled at the local level. The joint team shall be the final arbiter of reclassification disputes not settled at the local level. No such disputes shall be settled except by consensus of the joint team and such decisions achieved by consensus shall be binding on all parties. The joint team may at its discretion alone utilize technical studies or mediation in reaching its consensus…

Normally, a salary increase should be granted when a person is promoted or reclassified to a higher grade. The amount of the increase should reflect the employee’s skills and experience in relation to those required for the position, and in relation to those of others who work in the unit. It should also reflect the difference in salary level of the old and new job.”

This is an excerpt from the Harvard-HUCTW Agreement page 26.


Contract Language on Overtime Pay

Every non-exempt employee who works beyond her/his regularly scheduled hours has a right, guaranteed by law, to be appropriately compensated for extra time worked.

  1. In calculating hours worked for overtime purposes, all hours “paid” are considered hours “worked.” That is, extra hours worked in a week where a paid absence also occurs (a holiday, sick day, vacation, etc.) are compensated according to overtime policy. There is one exception: Comp time hours “paid” are not considered hours “worked.”
  1. Occasions may arise which necessitate unanticipated overtime work. Employees should try to accommodate such needs of the workplace, but should not be required to do so if they are unable to accommodate the request due to a prior conflicting commitment. If such instances become routine, the situation should be evaluated and discussed by the employee’s supervisor
  1. Employees are not expected to work overtime beyond the occasions referred to in paragraph 2 (above) unless it is part of their job description, understood by them before hiring, or agreed to in the event of a reasonable need for change in the job. Managers should communicate clearly with all employees about how much overtime might be necessary so that all parties are well informed about the expectations of a role.
  1. Refusal to work any overtime that is not part of an employee’s job description will not be reflected in an employee’s overall performance evaluation.
  1. Some offices at Harvard regularly provide their employees with opportunities to work overtime. Where such overtime work is not specialized and calls on the generic abilities of any of the employees in the office, all employees in that office should have equitable access to such overtime, if they so desire.
  1. Ordinarily, overtime arrangements will be authorized in advance by the supervisor.
  1. Harvard’s workweek begins Sunday at 12:01 a.m. and ends the following Saturday at 
midnight. The following overtime compensation requirements apply:

Overtime for Hours Over 40. An employee who works over 40 hours during a particular workweek must be paid time and one-half the regular hourly rate for all hours worked over 40 hours in that workweek

Overtime for Hours under 40 and Use of Compensatory Time. An employee who works more hours than her/his regular schedule but not more than 40 hours during a particular workweek may either:

Be paid straight time (regular hourly rate) for these additional hours,


Assign to themselves the right to receive compensation for these hours at a future date by banking these hours in a non-interest-bearing compensatory time off account for future use as paid time off. The option to receive compensatory time in place of pay is solely the choice of the staff member and may not be required by departments. While the time off should be arranged with the supervisor, employees may request the financial compensation at any time. Employees will not be able to accrue more than 40 unused compensatory hours, and although these hours may be carried over from year to year, they must be paid out at termination and will ordinarily be paid out at the time of transfer to another position.

This is an excerpt from the Harvard-HUCTW Personnel Manual, pages 31-32.

Again, please reach out to your HUCTW organizer or email us at if you are unsure of who that is and we will connect you with the right person. All conversations are confidential.