Work Security Program for Layoffs

Harvard and HUCTW agree that job elimination should not be common practice in departmental reorganizations or other administrative changes, and every effort should be made to ensure the security of employment. In cases when the University does make layoff decisions, the Union and University have created the Work Security Program to help union members who are laid off from their Harvard jobs. The goal of the program is to reemploy laid-off staff into comparable jobs at the University. There are four components to the program: salary and benefit continuation, designated Case Managers, free skill-building, and contract language about preference for hiring layoff candidates.

Salary and Benefit Continuation

Laid off members stay on the payroll with full pay and benefits through their Notification and Work Security periods, typically five months, with the possibility of up to eight months.

Notification Period
A union member is given 60 days of notice before the job ends, except in the case of unexpected loss in grant funding, when a union member may be given 30 days of notice. Ordinarily, the union members reports to work as usual during this time.

Work Security Period
After the notification period, a laid-off union member (“Work Security candidate”) stays on the payroll with full pay and benefits for up to three months as he/she looks for a job. The union member does not report to work during this time and instead engages in a full-time job search. If the Work Security candidate has not secured reemployment by the end these three months, he/she may apply for up to three additional months of full pay and benefits (on a month-to-month extension basis). Being granted extension is not guaranteed – it is contingent upon the union member’s active participation in all phases of the job search process, both during and after the notice period, and defined funding from the negotiated funding source.

Case Managers

Each Work Security candidate is assigned an HR Case Manager who assists the union member with the job search, including making advocacy calls for interviews and getting feedback afterwards, helping to prepare for the interviews, fine-tuning resumes, etc. In addition, an HUCTW representative is paired with the Case Manger to help union members’ with their search.

Free Skill-Building for Job Seeking

Work Security candidates can take free classes at the University’s Center for Workplace Development. Candidates benefit most from career courses and computer classes.

Preference in Hiring

Our negotiated contract language sets forth that Work Security candidates have preference in hiring over equally qualified outside candidates, including temps.

Helpful Links:

For further information on the Work Security Program, please contact the HUCTW office
(Tel: 617-661-8289, Email: