The start of 2018 also marks the start of a new round of contract negotiations between Harvard and HUCTW! As most of you know, these important negotiations determine our salary increases, any benefit changes, and other key policies and programs for the next several years. Our current contract with Harvard expires on September 30, 2018, so now is the time to start planning for a new round of talks.
An integral part of HUCTW negotiations is ensuring that members stay involved and informed throughout the process. In the next few months, members will be invited to participate in the following activities:
- Lunchtime Meetings: At key stages of negotiations, HUCTW leaders will invite members to lunchtime meetings in their local schools and departments. These meetings are an excellent opportunity for members to share ideas, ask questions, and learn more about how negotiations work and what’s happening at the table. Although Union negotiators will also send out written updates, these informal lunchtime meetings allow HUCTW leaders and members to speak candidly, interactively, and in-depth. The first round of lunchtime meetings will take place in February, March, and April — all members will be invited to meetings convenient to their workplaces.
- A Negotiations Survey: Although HUCTW organizers talk with members everyday about their working lives, another vital way that we gather information for negotiations is through an online member survey. It helps provide Union leaders with a wealth of data and personal stories about what is most important to members in their work and home lives. Negotiators use this information to help determine what topics are on the table, and to support Union ideas and proposals during the talks. The survey will be sent to all members by email in February.
- An Election for the HUCTW Negotiating Team: The HUCTW negotiating team is comprised of one elected union member from each of the five “regions” of the University, who will join HUCTW officers, organizers, and other Union leaders to participate in contract talks. The five regions are: (1) Central Administration (2) FAS Arts (3) FAS Sciences (4) The Professional Schools and (5) The Longwood Medical Area Schools. Members will be sent a more detailed email about the election this week, including descriptions of positions up for election, nomination instructions, and voting locations. The election will take place on Tuesday, March 6.
After these initial steps, there will continue to be many ways that members can engage in the negotiations process, culminating with a contract ratification vote once HUCTW and Harvard have reached a tentative agreement. This will be a simple yes or no vote and members will have an opportunity to meet with HUCTW leaders to read and discuss the tentative contract in detail.
Contract negotiations are an exciting and challenging time for the Union – please keep an eye out for the emails mentioned above and please take the time to participate in these important activities! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions. You can find links to our current Agreement and Manual (which together comprise the 2015 – 2018 Contract) on our website.