December 20, 2001

Harvard panel asks raises for workers

In The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Boston -- A Harvard University committee that was set up in response to student protests has proposed substantial pay increases for low-wage campus workers that would give them more than the activists demanded.

The committee recommended that President Lawrence H. Summers dip into the school's $18 billion endowment to fund a $3 million "parity wage" increase in benefits and pay.

Custodians and security and dining hall employees should immediately be paid between $10.83 and $11.30 per hour, the committee says in its report released Wednesday. Custodial employees now make $9.55, while security and parking guards make $9.58.

Last spring, 30 students occupied then-President Neil Rudenstine's office for three weeks, demanding a "living wage" of at least $10.50 an hour for employees. The committee, made up of faculty, administrators, students and workers, was formed in response to the protests.

Summers said he would implement "appropriate measures" after a month of public comment and deliberation.