On May 17, 1988 — 30 years ago today — staff in Harvard’s labs, libraries, offices, and clinics voted to form the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW). These 3,400 members banded together in order to have a strong, collective voice in the decisions that affected their working lives. But they also recognized that their distinct contributions and talents were integral to fulfilling the University’s mission, and that by strengthening employees’ individual voices in the workplace, they were building a stronger, more vibrant Harvard.
Thirty years later, HUCTW members and leaders have used their unique voices to negotiate ten contracts with Harvard, all of which have built on a strong, creative program of pay, benefits, and policies, designed to foster a collaborative, progressive, mutually respectful workplace.
Over the years, the HUCTW membership has grown in size and complexity, and we are now made of up of over 5,100 members in hundreds of distinct roles across every campus. HUCTW members are coordinators who travel the world facilitating Harvard’s executive education programs, they are carpenters who build sets for Harvard’s critically acclaimed theatrical productions, they are gardeners and arborists who care for rare plants in Harvard’s woodlands and gardens, and they are grant managers who oversee millions of dollars in funding for Harvard’s ground-breaking scientific research, to name just a few.
This growing diversity of talents and skills serves to deepen the role that HUCTW members play in building Harvard’s greatness. But it is also what has made HUCTW into the creative, vibrant, and thriving union community that it is today, and that inspires energetic plans for continuing growth and future progress.
Please keep an eye out for an invitation to a membership-wide celebration of this milestone in the summer!