Negotiations Update & Activities, February 2023
As mentioned in our communication earlier in January, there has been some progress in HUCTW’s pay negotiations with Harvard, but management’s salary increase offers still do not provide strong enough inflation protection for this past year, or for the anticipated inflation rates in 2023 or 2024. University offers for the 2022 raise are still less than most of the average 2022 pay increases of other private or unionized employers. To reach a fair pay agreement, it is critical that—in addition to continuing our strong and persistent negotiations through the help of a trained neutral mediator—HUCTW members work together to keep up creative and constructive pressure on Harvard administrators.
To that end, we want to encourage members to take part in the following upcoming and ongoing negotiation support activities:
- INFORMATIONAL PICKETING, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 7 & ongoing: HUCTW will be picketing in front of Massachusetts Hall in Harvard Yard (which holds the offices of the Harvard President and Vice Presidents) from 12:00 – 2:00 pm every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday starting on Tues. February 7 on an ongoing basis. Members can take part anytime during that block of time on any the three days, for whatever amount of time fits within their schedules. We will hold signs and hand out flyers to passersby, and all HUCTW members and community friends are welcome.
- STRICT ADHERENCE TO WAGE & HOUR LAW AND CONTRACT LANGUAGE, beginning on Monday, Feb. 6 & ongoing: Union leaders are encouraging HUCTW members to limit their work efforts to only their paid work hours. This is not a mandatory initiative that applies in exactly the same way to all HUCTW jobs. It is a strong encouragement from our union’s leadership to all members, hoping that you can find a way to participate that is true to your work experience and situation, in order to create constructive pressure toward a positive resolution of our difficult negotiations. In union meetings and surveys, it is clear that many HUCTW members work extra hours beyond their paid work duties without submitting for additional pay. The central idea of this initiative is that HUCTW members are encouraged to work their regular paid schedules, strictly applying state and federal laws and the provisions of the HUCTW-Harvard Agreement around overtime pay and extra compensation. We will provide more information shortly, along with a letter that participating members can send to their managers explaining this initiative. In the meantime, we have provided a Wage & Hour Policy Adherence Q&A.
- FACULTY SUPPORT, beginning last week & ongoing: HUCTW leaders are working with members in every Harvard school to reach out to faculty and ask for their support in a variety of ways to help move contract talks forward. Union organizers have begun working with groups of members to coordinate this outreach and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. If you would like to participate in outreach to faculty members in your school or department, please talk to an HUCTW Organizer for your part of the campus, or write to us at email@example.com.
- LETTER WRITING, ongoing: Members have sent and continue to send hundreds of powerful letters to Harvard deans, HR directors, and other administrators urging them to use their influence to help management negotiators reach agreement with HUCTW on a fair raise program. These efforts combined with rallies, stand-outs, petitions, and general workplace visibility have had a noticeable and meaningful impact on the talks. If you haven’t had a chance to write a letter to your local deans and administrators, we encourage you to take part.
- VISIBILITY, ongoing: Even something as simple as hanging HUCTW posters in your workspace or using HUCTW Zoom backgrounds in meetings is an easy way that you can help encourage productive community discussions and pressure around HUCTW negotiations. Download HUCTW posters and Zoom backgrounds on the Union website.
As always, please reach out to your HUCTW organizer or write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or ideas about any of the above or any aspect of negotiations.