Media Coverage of Merger Discussions

Below are excerpts and links to articles in the local media about HUSPMGU-HUCTW merger discussions and Harvard’s intransigence.

In the Cambridge Chronicle:

“Cambridge’s mayor has thrown her support behind two Harvard University unions’ shared, longstanding desire to merge into a single union.

The roughly 80 members of the smaller Harvard University Security, Parking & Museum Guards Union (HUSPMGU) have made known their interest in being absorbed by the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) – whose 5,200 members make up the largest union on campus – for nearly a half-dozen years.

In a Zoom interview, HUSPMGU President Curt Rheault said HUSPMGU members are some of the lowest-paid among unionized Harvard employees. Starting hourly rate is $17.96, and to earn three weeks of paid vacation takes five years of service. While he lauded his union’s strong spirit, Rheault said HUSPMGU is an independent operation as the smallest union on campus with no affiliation to bigger, national unions.

“We are an under-80-member unit union that has volunteers on our board. We are not professionally run and that can have consequences in negotiations and contract grievances,” he said. “We might have great intentions but could miss obvious violations that HUCTW would notice.”

HUSPMGU stands to benefit from a sibling union with enough members to form a small city, far more financial resources and serious collective-bargain acumen built up over the past three decades…”

See full article in the Cambridge Chronicle, by William J. Dowd

In the Crimson:

“Backed by a pair of local politicians, two Harvard unions are redoubling longstanding efforts to push for a merger, which have failed three times before.

The roughly 80-member Harvard University Security, Parking and Museum Guards Union and the 5,000-person Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers have long sought to merge under the umbrella of HUCTW. Now, they hope support from a pair of local elected officials — Cambridge Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui and Boston City Councilor Elizabeth A. “Liz” Breadon — will help put pressure on the University to support the change.

The unions released statements of support from Siddiqui and Breadon last week after more than 136 members in [Harvard Campus Services and the Harvard Art Museums] signed onto a petition calling for HUSPMGU to be included as part of HUCTW.

HUSPMGU represents Harvard security, parking, and museum guards, while HUCTW represents clerical and technical workers across campus.

In statements last week, Siddiqui and Breadon called on Harvard to allow the unions to merge.

“This disparity among Harvard service workers doesn’t make sense, and is clearly unfair to the dedicated members of the long-established HUSPMGU union,” wrote Breadon, who represents Allston-Brighton on the Boston City Council.

Siddiqui wrote that HUSPMGU members “have clearly and repeatedly expressed their desire to be included in HUCTW.”

“After six years of negotiation on this topic it is past time for Harvard to stop standing in their way,” she wrote…”

See full article in The Harvard Crimson, by Sophia C. Scott and Claire Yuan