Emails to Administrators

Write your own email to the administration (or call or come by Mass Hall and write a postcard). Contact info:

Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 04:10:46 -0400
Subject: 1975 sit-in

For release 3 May 2001 to Boston Globe.

Alumni Suggest Lesson from 1975 Massachusetts Hall Sit-In

Recalling a May 2, 1975 Massachusetts Hall sit-in, 14 alumni/ae sent an open letter to President Neil Rudenstine urging Harvard to pay workers a living wage. The alumni/ae, from the classes of 1975-77, suggested a lesson for Harvard from the earlier sit-in, which sought support for and expansion of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute:

Harvard University could easily provide leadership as a responsible employer. Instead, the world's wealthiest university refuses to pay janitors and other workers enough to support families in a high-cost area without working two full-time jobs, as many now do. Forty students recently took leadership by peacefully sitting-in at the president's office, saying the university community must care about even its lowest-status workers. They recognize workers cannot pay rent and feed children with English-language classes and other benefits that Harvard has offered instead of a living wage.

Twenty-six years ago, students peacefully sat-in in the same office, urging Harvard to support and expand the role of its nascent W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research. Some of us sat in, others gave support from outside. Harvard now proudly says its prestigious, greatly-expanded institute "has done more [for]...scholarly development of African American Studies than any other pre-doctoral or post-doctoral program" in the U.S.

Today, we urge Harvard to acknowledge its students' and workers' far-sighted message, and to pay all workers a living wage-now at least $10.25 an hour around Boston. If it does, we are confident that, looking back in 25 years, its leadership as an enlightened employer will be widely applauded.

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The following alumni/ae signed the statement; current affiliations for some are listed for identification purposes only, and do not imply any organizational endorsement. Non-Harvard degrees are noted in parentheses.

Laura Burns AB '75

Bill Fletcher, Jr. AB '76. Vice President for International Trade Union Development Programs, George Meany Center for Labor Studies-National Labor College (AFL-CIO)

Ruth Garnett AB '76

Peter Hardie AB '77

Cole Harrison AB '76 (MCS). Ask Jeeves, Inc.

Jennifer Helmick AB '75 (MS). Vice President, Eastern Research Group

Peter Hogness AB '76. Professional Staff Congress-CUNY, American Fed. of Teachers Local 2334

Natalia (Thomas) Kanem AB '76 (MD, MPH). Ford Foundation

Mary Lassen AB '75, Bunting Institute Fellow '93-4. Executive Director, Women's Educational and Industrial Union

Jack Mills AB '75, MPA '92. Program Director, Jobs for the Future

Vivien Morris AB '75 (MPH,MS,RD). Boston Medical Center

David Price AB '77 (JD)

Deborah Socolar AB '75 (MPH). Co-Director, Health Reform Program, Boston University School of Public Health

Chris Tilly AB '76 (PhD). University Professor, University of Massachusetts at Lowell; and Visiting Professor, 2000-2001, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Subject: reaction to your Harvard News

Dear Sir/Dear Lady,

I find it a bit difficult to respond to a person signing his/her message "this email is for your information". I'd like to let you (whoever you are, if possible President Rudenstine) know my opinon about the recent student movement concerning the so-called living wage.

In a few words, I am unbelievably proud of these students. They have made me very happy. Students may finally have become politically motivated once more. The yuppie age could possibly be over, or, at least, a reaction to the yuppie age may have surfaced. I think the university should be very proud of them as well. If people do not have liberal ideas during their youth, when will they have them? These students are my only hope in the midst of the right-wing US government.

Concerning the issue of the living wage, I completely agree with the students. I was born in Brazil, and I am involved with the Brazilian immigrant community. I know there are Brazilians, as well as legal and illegal immigrants from other countries, working at Harvard. I have nothing against that, on the contrary. If people immigrate illegally to the US, it's because they cannot earn a living in their countries. Illegal immigrants are an important part of the US economy. These people work very hard. They usually perform several jobs, for instance delivering newspapers early in the morning and cleaning offices at night, in addition to their "official" daytime job. They are extremely courageous. They usually arrive accompanied by their families. Nobody, that I know of, can live on $10.25 an hour. I, in any case, cannot - can you? I believe a place as rich as Harvard should always pay their employees the proclaimed living wage, whatever it may be.

Last but not least, do not forget that today's students will be tomorrow's alumni. There must be ways of doing the right thing without antagonizing the majority of the student body, not to mention the already existing alumni.

Yours sincerely,

Susana Rossberg


letter to President Rudenstine from Ralph Nader

May 7, 2001

President Neil Rudenstine Harvard University Cambridge, MA 02138 Fax: (617) 495-150

Dear President Rudenstine,

Along with many other people close to Harvard, I have been observing the efforts by workers, students, supporting faculty and friends to persuade the Administration to provide a living wage to all, not just most, of Harvard's employees and subcontracted labor. From a distance, it became ever more puzzling why the University's managers resisted these pleas, given Harvard's impressive $19 billion endowment, high tuition and humanitarian traditions. Resistance without a rationale invited the transformation of pleas to demands and now the occupation by three-dozen students of Massachusetts Hall. What was once an arms length entreaty is now viewed as a struggle over the conditions under which decisions are to be made. The University has been reported as insisting that there will be no negotiations while the students are sitting in. It would establish an unsettling precedent that might encourage other physical occupations. However, to do what is right does not require negotiations with the students.

There is another way to view the situation from the University administration's standpoint. (Remember that the faculty and the students are very much part of what is meant by Harvard University). There is a long history in our country of response to non-violent civil disobedience-much of it unsavory and some of it noble and self-purifying. Some of Harvard's finest sons and daughters at all levels of the University have participated in such civil disobedience during the civil rights, anti-war, arms control and other movements in recent decades. They were basically acting to evoke shame, guilt, introspection, redemption or moral recognition among the objects of their disobedience. They also were trying to widen the audience of concern and judgement on behalf of their cause through the media and other modes of communication.

Now it is incumbent on Harvard's leadership to respond, having lost its moral authority on this living wage issue many months ago. And to recover its moral authority is to unilaterally announce that no employees at the University or its subcontractors and their families will have to live in poverty while they labor for this institution. Harvard does not lose face when it does what should have been done long ago. You earn Harvard respect by recognizing your agreement with the essence of the students' demands who risked much by following through on their convictions into demonstrative activities. There are times when an articulate humility by the more powerful party to a dispute rises to an occasion of enduring eloquence.

In order to reduce the likelihood of future sit-ins regarding matters of deep student concern, you have to establish a suitable mechanism by which the students can have a deliberative outlet to voice their senses of justice in the future and receive a response from the Administration which they perceive to be something other than "waiting them out." Here, the Law School has abundant talent that can be drawn upon both in the areas of dispute resolution, a structured foresight mechanism and the expression of a healing humility to end the present discord.

The present situation day after day generates costs to all sides, but none more than to Harvard's reputation around the country. Whatever considerations you are relying upon to continue the present standoff are not reaching that portion of public opinion which is concentrating on the basic issue -- that of a living wage for full time workers, whether directly on Harvard's payroll or on that of its subcontractors.

Surely, you could not have welcomed these turmoils just weeks before you complete your tenure as Harvard's President. But there are ways out that can decisively turn around later historical judgements and demonstrate that the wisdom of the elders can interact with the sensitive tempers of the youthful towards a just resolution.

Sincerely yours,

Ralph Nader HLS '58


Date: Fri, 04 May 2001 20:16:57 From: evelyn O Subject: campus labor Dear Mr. Fineberg, I am writing to express my concern about your lack of support for the living wage campaign on campus. I believe people who work at Harvard deserve to be paid enough to live in dignity above the poverty level and support a family. I urge you to follow the Cambridge City Council's lead in implementing a $10.25 per hour living wage policy. This is an opportunity for Harvard, as one of the most prestigious and wealthiest universities in the world, to set an example in fair employment practices. It is also a chance for Harvard to set an example in critical thinking and compassion in supporting organized workers and a workforce that keeps the campus running and well. Sincerely, Evelyn O'Connor B.A. Political Economy
From: "Ellen Robinson" Date: 4/29/01 4:15:45 PM

Dear Mr Rudenstine--I consider it reprehensible that after just successfully completing Harvard's $230-million fundraising campaign, that you deem a level that your own City Council of Cambridge has judged a fair and living wage to be unacceptable for Harvard workers.

It is scandalous that Harvard University is not at the forefront of institutions supporting fair remuneration for workers. As the richest university and one of the wealthiest non-profit organizations in the world, Harvard is particularly obligated to set an example of fair pay and community responsibility to other institutions. Out-sourcing work to other organizations does not absolve you from the duty of paying campus workers a salary that keeps them above poverty level.

Look at the reputation that you are creating for Harvard.

Sincerely,

Ellen Robinson


Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 16:11:11 -0700 Subject: Adopt Living Wage for All Harvard Workers!!! Dear President Rudenstine: I am writing to express my concern about poverty wages on campus. I believe people who work at Harvard deserve to be paid enough to live in dignity above the poverty level and support a family. I urge you to follow the Cambridge City Council's lead in implementing a $10.25 per hour living wage policy. This is an opportunity for Harvard, as one of the most prestigious and wealthiest universities in the world, to set an example in fair employment practices. As a '93 graduate and financial contributor to Harvard, I believe the university has the opportunity and obligation to set an example throughout the world for humane, decent, and efficient work conditions. It would be a disgrace for Harvard to fail to do the right thing at this historic moment in time -- a legacy which would be remembered. I urge you to adopt a living wage for all Harvard employees and in the process again set precedent as the leading educational institution in the country. Sincerely yours, Betty Hung '93
Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 12:30:07 -0700 Subject: Student Sit - In for Living Wage for University Workers Mr. Fineberg, I am disturbed to learn that Harvard University apparently not has adequately addressed the concerns of students and the needs of university workers over the last two years and that the students find it necessary to engage a continuing sit-in demonstration to draw attention to these issues and the need for a fair resolution. You have admitted these students as among the best and brightest and most socially aware in the county. They deserve your attention and respect. From my experience people are moved to such drastic action only when their cause is just and the tactic is a last resort. At SF State University in the 1969-70, the administration failed to follow through on long term student/faculty proposals for admission and curriculum reforms for students of color, resulting in a long and bitter, very public strike with community support and police intervention. Administrators publicly objected to the strike tactics but didn't acknowledge that the strikers had exhausted various non-confrontational and democratic options over the preceding years before voting to strike. The protracted strike was broken after complete disruption of the academic year, daily picketing, mass demonstrations and arrests, the closing of classes and eventually the campus, but the reform demands for increased admissions and ethnic study programs were laterimplemented and became standard at universities and colleges (until the recent reactionary assault on affirmative action). I urge you to sit down and negotiate a reasonable and just solution with the students, who are after all acting in the finest American traditions of freedom and justice for all. San Francisco and several other cities have passed Living Wage legislation covering public employees and contractors. As a world famous and respected institution with a liberal image, Harvard University has to follow these examples and do the right thing for it's students and workers. Please advise me how you plan to respond to this issue and your self imposed crisis. Sincerely, Robert English San Francisco, CA
Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 10:01:56 -0800 Subject: Living Wage campaign Dear President Rudenstine, As an alumna of Harvard, I urge you to negotiate with the student in Massachusetts Hall AND agree to a living wage for Harvard workers (whether employed by the University or by outside contractors). These students are thinking seriously about issues of social justice and acting upon their principles. When students do NOT have a democratic process available to them, non-violent direct action is a valid alternative. It is my understanding that the committee which decided a living wage was unnecessary was picked by the administration and did not include students, workers or union representatives. In no way can this be seen as a valid committee to decide this issue. Any committee now set up to revisit the matter should have independent representatives from all of the factions (including faculty picked faculty members). As for the original issue, it is unconscionable for people to be working full-time and not receive wages adequate to live on. Harvard should be taking the high moral ground here rather than relying on "market" forces. Surely the richest university in the nation can afford to pay its workers a living wage. I am ashamed that Harvard is taking the position it has and will not contribute to the university unless it alters its stance. In 1964, the students at the University of California who participated in the Free Speech Movement were also castigated by the University for their tactics (despite similar circumstances of undemocratic processes). By 1997 the University was building monuments to honor these students and the political freedom they brought to campuses. Please listen to your students now, rather than recognizing the justice of their cause thirty years from now. Sincerely, Lynne Hollander Savio Alumna Harvard Graduate School of Education
Date: Thu, 03 May 2001 09:09:45 -0400 Subject: Living Wage sit-in As a Harvard graduate ('68) I write urging you to meet with the students sitting-in in Mass Hall and bargaining in good faith to provide all Harvard employees with a living wage. I am extremely disappointed at the refusal thus far to meet with the students and to make an institutional commitment to this eminently fair proposal. Harvard stands for a lot in the world and has to do the right thing by its employees and set an example for others. The message communicated thus far is not the message we should be sending to the broader academic world. If the community of scholars means anything it also has to mean that our community is not based on the poor treatment of employees who make the university work. I trust I will hear shortly that Fair Harvard is acting fairly. Sincerely yours, Thomas Dublin, '68
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 21:52:46 -0400 (EDT) Subject: RE: Message from the Dean of Harvard College Dear Dean Lewis, I am writing to express my concern with the e-mail you sent to students (enclosed below). While it is of course imperative to inform the Harvard community about security concerns and incidents such as that described below, this has traditionally been the purview of the Harvard Police Department. To lump together in one e-mail this security issue, and the PSLM/Living Wage issue, is highly inappropriate unless a concrete link between the two can be proven. I take it that there is no suggestion that the individuals involved are related to the PSLM, but your e-mail, whether deliberately or not, does infer such an association. This is only exacerbated by the fact that you have broken with standard procedure (ie. that HUPD sends out community security updates) by sending this e-mail. Your e-mail seems to suggest that the PSLM has created an atmosphere of "increased tension and turbulence", and also speaks of the long hours worked by the security and police forces under "trying conditions." As far as I have been able to observe, the relations between PSLM personnel and police has been quite cordial, with protesters complying with police requests to stay away from Massachusetts Hall, as well as other requests. If this is an accurate characterization of the situation as a whole, this only emphasizes how inappropriate the implicit link between the security incident and the PSLM activities are. Furthermore, it is inappropriate to address to the entire college community the requests you have made to the PSLM: those should be made directly to those involved in organizing and coordinating the protest. Your e-mail, as well as President Rudenstine's previous e-mail, should have been targeted to those involved: if any other person or organization had e-mailed the entire undergraduate community about their opinions on/negotiations with a specific Harvard group, it would rightfully be regarded as "spam". Lastly, you refer in your e-mail to "standard policies regarding amplification..." Despite my previous urgings, dating back to this fall, I have yet to see any written policy regarding the use of amplification. Given your claim that such a policy does now exist, I would request that you send it, not to all Harvard undergraduates, but to the leaders of all student groups (Susan Cooke has such a list) so that they can comply with your policy. Respectfully yours, Sam Sternin
Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 23:55:22 -0700 (PDT) Subject: Please Support a Living Wage for Harvard Workers President Rudenstine, It is uplifting to see students at one of the wealthiest universities in the world demanding justice and fair treatment for those who make their education possible. Thousands of workers suffer poverty wages and inadequate benefits despite full-time employment to enable the most priveleged members of our society to receive a quality education at Harvard. It should be obvious that they deserve a wage that allows them to provide the most basic of all needs for themselves and their familes in return for their hard work. I write this from across the country at Stanford University, where despite the great distance that divides us, we face very similar problems. Our union has successfully fought over time to ensure that none of our workers receive poverty wages, a difficult task in a region with one of the highest costs of living in the United States. This applies, unfortunately, only to the workers who we represent, leaving a great number of workers (both direct and contracted) far below the poverty line. Casual and temporary workers suffer the most, enduring a total lack of job security in addition to poverty wages. This is not merely a curious situation for an institution which claims to further the noble goals of society, preparing the best and brightest of our youth to venture into the world and contribute to it. It is hypocritical, and it is unacceptable. It is unacceptable that students who the university serves must themselves hold it responsible to it's very own goals and aspirations. If Harvard was burdened by financial hardship, perhaps this resistance would be easier to fathom. But Harvard clearly claims no lack of ability to pay. Stanford University has also never claimed an inability to pay its workers a fair wage, clearly evidenced by budget excesses in the hundreds of millions of dollars each year. When an expenditure promises to bring the university additional prestige, there is seldom any substantive resistance or debate. Highly esteemed faculty, new business ventures, or public relations campaigns are all cheerfully endowed with generous funding in the hope of furthering the prestige of the university. It is most unfortunate that the workers who maintain the university, who keep it safe and clean, who provide housing and meals to the students, are not regarded similarly by your administration. It is unacceptable that because they do not add to the university's prestige and public image, they are considered of minimal value and treated accordingly. The administration does nothing to challenge this, to treat all of their workers with respect, pay them a living wage, and make this treatment a source of prestige for the university. Indeed, such efforts are only paid lip service, and subsequently resisted by your administration. So you have left no options other than the course the courageous students at your university have chosen to take. They have taken it upon themselves to make your treatment of low-wage workers shameful and hypocritical, and they have generated massive public support for their goals. They have only done this because your administration has failed to, after years of dialogue that excluded workers and produced little to change the situation. They are taking a stand for the high ideals that Harvard University is supposed to embody. I urge you to teach them the right lesson, President Rudenstine. Teach them that hard work deserves a living wage in return. That the fair treatment of those who labor to provide them with their esteemed education and a safe environment should also be a source of prestige and respect for Harvard. That the high values and goals of society which you claim to uphold are genuine, and not a smokescreen for vanity or pride. The students of Harvard have focused the attention of the public on you, and we are watching anxiously to see what lesson will emerge. I hope that you agree to negotiate a living wage for all workers at Harvard-- and make it a lesson we can all be proud of. Sincerely, Zev Kvitky President, United Stanford Workers Stanford University, CA
Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 01:38:54 -0400 Subject: Support for Harvard Living Wage Campaign (from an Alumnus of the University) ††††††† It has been almost two weeks since I forwarded the attached note and I have yet to receive any response from any Harvard University administrator.† It is good to know that as an alumnus of the university, that although I am constantly besieged with requests for donations to assist Harvard in maintaining its high degree of excellence amongst the top ranking institutions of higher learning, when an alumnus raises a concern such concern falls on deaf ears.† Your response to your students and your alumni has be pitiful to say the least.† Sitting in the ivory tower and shutting the doors to the needs of society while preaching the values to which one should aspire is a disservice to your students and the reputation of the university amongst its alumni and society at large. ††††††† You have my condolences, ††††††† Dino Barajas†††
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 13:03:20 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Living Wage Dear Jeremy Knowles and colleagues: Since you are the dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences, let me remind you of the words of one important historical leader. "It is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages." --Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Your school is educating the future leaders of this country. You should be proud that your students demonstrate a social conscience and committment to economic justice as well. It is unconscionable to pay your workers anything less than $10.25 an hour WITH FULL BENEFITS. I hope you and the other Harvard administrators will do what is just and immediately upgrade your workers' pay. I'm sure that Harvard administrators are also aware of US Labor laws protecting workers' rights to organize and bargain collectively. Anywhere those basic civil rights are abused, an injury to those workers becomes an injury to ALL. Let me remind you of another historical quote: "Without our brains and muscles, not a single wheel will turn..." (attribution unknown) Keep that in mind as you stroll down the gleaming halls of your esteemed university. There is NO work that is unimportant. All honest work has dignity. And all working men and women deserve a living wage. Agitating for a better tomorrow/Solidarity, Cris D'Angelo local 1625 United Food & Commercial Workers, Florida.
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 11:54:59 -0700 From: Ron Weisberg Subject: Support for a Living Wage Dear Educators, I urge you to pay Harvard's workers a living wage. Ending the awful publicity should be worth that at the least. I am a part-time custodian out here in California (where even custodian's have Ph.D's). The Unitarian church I work for chooses as a matter of principle to pay its employee's a living wage, though its budget is far less robust than Harvard's. Respectfully, Ron Weisberg, Ph.D ronwei@california.com
Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 11:03:22 -0500 From: Rod Kessler Subject: Alumnus for Living Wage President Rudenstine: I am proud of my Harvard background and gladly serve as a fundraiser for the Harvard College Fund and as a committee members for reunion planning and the like. I want to add my voice to those urging you to implement the "living wage" policy across the board. My wife and I have for years hired students from Pennypacker and Hurlbut to babysit our little boy (Class of '13??). We pay $10 and hour. Please think about how the low end of Harvard's pay scale strikes us. I will be proud of Harvard when it joins the city of Cambridge in a fair wages policy. --Rod Kessler'71 Coordinator, the Honors Program Professor of English
Date: Tue, 01 May 2001 08:09:05 -0700 From: Peter Dreier Subject: Please support demands for a living wage for Harvard employees Dear President Rudenstine and other Harvard administrators: I am writing to encourage you to grant all Harvard employees, both direct and those working for subcontractors, a living wage of $10.25/hr plus benefits. Harvard cannot operate without its workers. Currently, many of these workers live below the poverty line, and must work outrageous hours in order to make ends meet. This is blatantly unjust. Bob Herbert's New York Times column noted that Harvard should have higher values that the corporate bottom line. I agree. As the former director of housing for the City of Boston (1984-92), I know that housing prices in the Boston/Cambridge metro area are beyond the reach of most working families earning less than $15/hour. I encourage you to honor the protesters' additional demands for fair working condition both at home and abroad, and join the Workers' Rights Consortium. Only by doing so will the University truly uphold the Code of Conduct that it has already passed. Occidental College, where I teach, has not only joined the WRC; it has also contracted with a clothing contractor (Plains T-Shirt) in Pennsylvania, whose workers are covered by a contract between their employer and UNITE labor union, to provide t-shirts with the college's logo. We have a "no-sweat" zone in our campus bookstore. Students and other consumers can thus be confident that this clothing is made by employees whose working conditions comply with the college's code-of-conduct. I encourage you, too, to negotiate with students who are currently taking action on this issue. They are, in fact, pursuing what I can only assume are values cherished by Harvard. They are thinking critically about issues of pressing social concern and taking action on their principles. Sincerely, Peter Dreier Dr. E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics Director, Urban & Environmental Policy Program Occidental College Los Angeles
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 18:52:57 -0700 Subject: Living Wage at Harvard Dear President Rudenstine, I am writing to express my concern about poverty wages on campus. I believe people who work at Harvard deserve to be paid enough to live in dignity above the poverty level and support a family. I urge you to follow the Cambridge City Council's lead in implementing a $10.25 per hour living wage policy. This is an opportunity for Harvard, as one of the most prestigious and wealthiest universities in the world, to set an example in fair employment practices Sincerely yours, Judy Hung, AB 1999
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 10:20:49 -0500 (CDT) Subject: a living wage 4.30.01 Dear President Rudenstine: My name is Alex Cho '96, and I am writing in support of a living wage for Harvard's workers. Harvard has long been recognized as a global leader, in substantial part due to the strength of its good name. It has parlayed this reputation into an endowment of staggering proportions, recently enlarged by a successful Capital Campaign. Now the world watches to see whether Harvard will do the right thing, given its standing and wealth, whether it deserves its good name. I am actually in Seoul, Korea at this time; and am writing after having heard of the student action via email and reading a piece on it that appeared in the Korea Herald (April 27, p 4), a daily published here in Seoul. I wanted to be sure it is known that internationally, too, people are watching. And here, given the fundamental role that joint student and labor activism has had in transforming Korea from dictator-led developing nation into a modern democracy with a vast and prosperous middle class, the story has a special resonance. It warms my heart to hear that student courage at Harvard runs so high, and that their love is so great, that they would struggle this hard to push Harvard to live up to its name. It would be much easier not to care at all. As a student, I was active with other students in pushing for race and ethnic studies; I was also active in the Asian American Association (AAA), founded over 20 years ago out of a spirit of student activism. I read your statement, President Rudenstine, and respect your opinion too, but as someone was part of an ongoing effort to create change on Harvard's terms but with little to show even after more than a decade of negotiation and meeting, I would argue that radical action in support of a living wage was needed to create a scrutiny of sufficient magnitude that would in turn achieve that most elusive thing that all onlookers hope for: accountability. That Harvard would do what it says it would do; that it would do what it should do. That rather than overlook or undermine the well-meaning efforts of caring students, it would embrace them as emblematic of what makes Harvard great. And as an alum, I have had occasion to talk with other alumni about why we collectively refuse to donate our money or time, why we don't plan to come to reunion events, why our Harvard Magazine still goes home to our folks, and why in our minds our membership in Harvard's club may ever be tainted. These alumni includes founders of the AAA, who still refuse to donate to Harvard. It has everything to do with Harvard's consistent rejection of those ideas that push it to reflect postmodern realities rather than hold fast to old ways. A living wage for Harvard's essential workers appears to be just the latest example. So I would urge you, President Rudenstine, to now do the right thing. Your presidency has seen Harvard's wealth swell as the result of your ceaseless efforts; now your presidency can also see Harvard's wealth spread, also as the work of your hands, to the people that make Harvard run. You may yet see us recalcitrant alumni reach into our own pockets, if Harvard's workers see $10.25 an hour in theirs. Respectfully yours, Alex Cho '96
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 22:31:21 EDT Dear Mr. Rudenstine, Mr. Fineberg, Ms. Zeckhauser, Mr. Lewis, and Ms. Price: I am a 1993 graduate of Harvard College. Currently I work in Washington, DC for a national network that promotes increased employment, development and educational opportunites for young people, particularly low-income youth. Harvard prepared me well to be this kind of advocate. Given my work and my beliefs, I must write to express my grave concern about the about poverty wages on campus at Harvard. I believe people who work at Harvard deserve to be paid enough to live in dignity above the poverty level and support a family. I urge you to follow the Cambridge City Council's lead in implementing a $10.25 per hour living wage policy. This is an opportunity for Harvard, as one of the most prestigious and wealthiest universities in the world, to set an example in fair employment practices. I have donated to Harvard/Radcliffe in the past and will have to think twice if your poverty wages continue. †Thank you for your attention and please, do the right thing so Harvard can continue to be a place that teaches their students about the dignity of all people. Sincerely, Katherine E. O'Sullivan
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 17:32:14 -0400 From: Tivey To: Office of the President Subject: support for the Living Wage campaign and for the Sit-In President Rudenstine- I wish to let you know of my support for the Living Wage Campaign and for the Progressive Student Labor Movement's Sit-In. These students are not alone in their concerns regarding Living Wage issues. I believe the PSLM speaks for many of us in the Harvard Community, and I am proud of, and grateful for, their words and deeds. I look forward to a just and fair resolution with your help. Most respecfully, Ken Tivey, ALB '97 Staff Assistant III, Department of Economics HUCTW activist
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2001 09:33:57 -0400 From: Sayres S. Rudy To: Office of the President Subject: Re: Facts and fallacies about employment at Harvard How long do you think that transparent euphemisms and slippery rationalizations can distract or fool those whom you would lecture rather than publicly debate? "Total compensation", "only 500", and on and on will be remembered for what they are, the authoritarian fluff of the court apologist who would rather spend time, money, and energy on obfuscation and shell-games issued from behind closed doors than come out into the light and debate honestly. Do you really think so many diverse and intelligent people are wrong or so easily befuddled?! Sayres Rudy ps FYI, I am an example of someone who have been won over to the protests more by the administration's intransigence and manifest fabrications (I study absolutist ideology) than by any other single cause. Debate openly in a public forum, and come to compromise, or you will never win credibility.
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 12:26:39 -0400 From: desiree enayati Subject: Alum plea to Harvard Dear Mr. Fineberg, I am writing as an alum of the class of '94 to express my concern about the poverty wages on campus. People who work at Harvard or anywhere deserve to be paid enough to live in dignity, in order to both live above the poverty level and to support a family. I urge you to follow the Cambridge City Council's lead in implementing a $10.25 per hour living wage policy. I was very moved to hear the Mayor of Cambridge speak in support of the student protestors, urging Harvard to fulfill its duty to the people of Cambridge. I have been attending the noon rallies and 8pm vigils and I intend to continue to support the student protestors until Harvard institutes a living wage for all Harvard workers. This is an opportunity for Harvard, as one of the most prestigious and wealthiest universities in the world, to set an example in fair employment practices. I pledge to donate $100 to Harvard student financial aid when a living wage is instituted. I will not donate any money to Harvard until such a time. Sincerely, Desirťe Enayati
From: John Womack To: Jeremy R Knowles Subject: Re: Urgent Meeting Today Dear Dean Knowles, Thanks for the notice. Because of other academic duties, viz., a Mellon Conference planned months ago, I unhappily cannot attend the meeting this afternoon. If an electronically communicated opinion is worth recording, here is mine, in a few points: (1) Probably a large majority of the FAS would vehemently reiterate vulgar Smithist arguments in support of the Faculty Committee's recommendation to the president, and in support of the president's decision, to leave the question of wages to the labor market, but that does not make the recommendation or the decision right. (2) Educating the workers presently in the miserably paid jobs so that they can take higher-paid jobs is an evasion of the issue, because all that would do is leave the miserably paid jobs for others to fill. (3) No one working full time all year at the current wages for those jobs, making $14,000 a year gross, could live above the level of abject poverty in the Boston Area. It would take two such salaries to allow life in the simplest poverty. Whatever a majority of the Harvard FAS or the University at large may think, or vote, it is a revolting disgrace for Harvard to pay such wages. (4) The plea for collective bargaining is fatuous, dishonest, and insulting so long as the University, thanks to S. Zeckhauser et al., seeks to avoid bargaining with unions whenever possible, particularly by resorting to subcontractors specifically in the business of supplying desperately cheap non-union labor. In other words, I think that the students, finally for lack of any better alternative, have done the right thing--peacefully and harmlessly sitting in a building to embarrass the university into doing the decent thing for its lowliest employees. Yours, John Womack, Jr.
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 21:06:47 -0400 (EDT) From: Rajesh Gopakumar To: Office of the President Subject: Re: Facts and fallacies about employment at Harvard Mr. Wrinn, I find this whole effort by the president's office to demonstrate how the university's "generous" wage policy has been misrepresented by a "small" group of students most disingenous. I also find the portrayal of conscientious civil disobedience on the part of the PSLM students as "coercive" behaviour very offensive. Especially when it comes from an administration that exerts its coercive powers very effectively when dealing with unions (in the oh-so-fair sounding "collective bargaining process") and unorganised labour. Your letter does not address many of the central points raised by the PSLM such as 1. How can a handpicked committee without student or worker representatives (and next to no consulation with the same) be portrayed as an honest scrutiny of the living wage issue? 2. How can increased benefits substitute for wages when the primary burden on workers are increased rents and other living expenses in the cambridge/boston area? 3. In what sense is it justifiable that there are even 400 fulltime workers who earn less than the living wage, however small a fraction that maybe of the total workforce? 4. By no reckoning is complying with the cambridge living ordinance going to be a financial burden on harvard. On what grounds then can Harvard deny what many other employers in cambridge pay? Hiding behind words like "competitive" compensation does not disguise the naked immorality of denying workers a decent living because the market allows you to do so. I think it is time the administration realised its isolation and its moral alienation from the university community, with respect to its niggardly, legalistic position on the issue of the PSLM sitin and living wages. All attempts to characterise the students in Mass. Hall as a minority ( forty six students are a "few dozen" in the president's statement) are laughable at this stage and only likely to rebound on the administration. I have the conviction of Gandhi that Truth and Justice will prevail. Yours sincerely, Rajesh Gopakumar Research Associate, Dept. of Physics, Harvard University
Dear Administrators: I am writing to register my support of the Harvard Living-Wage Campaign. I have been following this campaign very closely since it began. I have read all the literature available, from both sides as well as independent scholarly writings on economic justice, fair labor practices, and living wage policies. I am also writing as a former 'temporary' employee and current Staff Assistant at the Kennedy School of Government. I know first-hand how difficult it is to live even modestly while working at Harvard. I have held two-jobs in order to pay for my room in a shared apartment in Somerville. I have tried commuting to Cambridge from Providence, RI (the only place I could find that I could afford). I have taken advantage of the TAP program and other educational and enrichment opportunities and yet still I struggle. I struggle while making upwards of $15/hour, far less than the $10.25 being demanded by the living-wage campaign. This is a very serious problem and I commend those participating in the sit-in for their action in bringing this matter to national attention. You have been inconvenienced by their presence, but consider what these workers (each one earning less than $10.25 per hour) must endure in order to raise their families with dignity. We have good people working among us. These are creative, caring, hard-working individuals that should be compensated for their contribution to the community. I agree with the innovative suggestions put forth by the Ad-Hoc Committee, because it is important to recognize the emotional and intellectual needs of individuals, not simply the economic needs. But they must be used to supplement a living-wage. They need to afford food and shelter before enjoying the luxuries of art and education. I urge you to do the right thing, pay all Harvard employees a wage they can live on. Sincerely, AnnMarie Greeley O'Connor
Dear President Rudenstine, † My name is Emmanuel Smadja, I am a second year engineering student at the university of Virginia. I am aware of the Sit-In and related events at Harvard university and I support a living wage of 10.25 an hour plus medical benefits, adjusted yearly for inflation, as per the Cambridge City Ordinance. The battle for "The Living Wage" is not just a battle at Harvard University, it is a battle across and for our country. I strongly believe that, as one of the†leading schools in the US,†Harvard†should†show the example and provide every†worker with the requested minimum wage. † † Sincerely, † Emmanuel Smadja
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 09:06:47 -0400 Subject: Instituting a Living Wage Dear Dean Knowles and President Rudenstine: How much longer can this continue? The only leverage the students have, like all those engaging in civil disobedience, is their occupation of space. To refuse to negotiate until they leave is ridiculous on its face. But who can judge the fitness of things? As the days go by, the world gets a good lesson in the compassion of the people who run Harvard, and into the basic inequities of the modern American labor system. Perhaps as the length of the students' occupation continues, more and more people will be forced to confront the problem of people who work full-time in America and yet fall below the poverty line, and how wealthy corporations such as Harvard refuse to accept their part in this sordid equation. I have wondered if it is because the Harvard Corporation Board is made up of executives who run corporations like Taco Bell, who pay their employees abysmally, that the administration is so intransigent. If, as Joe Wrinn says, the University's mission is education, why are there so many such corporate executives determining its policies? Indeed, Harvard's mission IS educating. What if it taught the world how to run a fair workplace, instead of how to turn a $120 million profit on the backs of low-wage workers? Right now it is educating the world in ways that will not redound to its credit. Please reconsider, and do all you can to make us proud of Harvard again. Andree Pages, 1977
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 08:32:34 -0400 (EDT) From: Paul Dafydd Jones Dear President Rudenstein, Provost Fineburg, Ms. Sally Zeckhauser, Dean Lewish, Ms. Polly Price, Dean Knowles I am writing to express my strong support for the 'Living Wage' protest now ongoing in Massachusetts Hall. And I am writing to express my dismay at the University's complicity in a perpetuating an unjust wage for hundreds of Harvard workers. As an international student, I was attracted to Harvard's commitment to excellence. But this excellence has been compromised massively by Harvard's refusal to guarantee a living wage for many of its workers. I am presently ashamed to be a student at an institution that disregards the most basic needs of many it employs. The terms 'right' and 'disruption' were used in President Rudenstein's statement on the protest. The use of these terms show what a topsy-turvy world the administration inhabits. The issue here is not that students do not have the 'right' to inhabit a building -- the issue here is that workers have the right to receive a living wage. The issue here is not that the protesters are being 'disruptive' -- it is rather that the primary disruption is that suffered by workers who receive $6.25 an hour. I ask each and everyone of you: would you ever work for this wage? Yet you each are willing to let this happen at Harvard. And that is something about which you should be losing sleep. Yours respectfully, Paul Dafydd Jones
Dear Joe Wrinn et. al-- I have been wondering for days if the distortions and prevarications committed by your office are the result of careful calculation or simple incompetence. (A year ago, I might have imagined other possibilities, but you have left us with these two and nothing more.) I must say that your recent e-mail brought me no closer to a conclusion. It's an interesting question, to me: is Professor Rudenstine (in his public incarnation, at least) not a passive mouthpiece of the Harvard Corporation but a knowing one, willing to contribute his personal rhetoric and resources in the service of the spin that they desire? Or is he actually helpless, a fundraising idiot-savant throwing up his hands, flummoxed, lacking any real power but unable to admit he's just a figurehead? Although the first case is perhaps more sinister, I prefer it to the second: people have moral conversions more often than puppets come to life. But even in the latter case I will not give up hope. As it stands, Professor Rudenstine will be remembered only by those whose main touchstone in life is money--but this could change. Even though he could not personally decide, at least in isolation, to grant workers a living wage (and noone who knows anything about these issues thinks he could), his support would be of immeasurable value to far more than the 400--or rather 1000+--workers who would benefit most immediately from new policies. I leave it up to those more versed in the specifics of the PSLM's history to strip the sloppily applied white paint from the crumbling wall that is your letter. I will end with this question, and this thought: why is it that _every single group_ in this community--workers, students, teaching fellows, full professors, alumni, townspeople--has lined up and in some cases gone to the line for a living wage, while the people most responsible for the community's health and happiness--the administration-- have remained silent or worse? I love this place, and because I love it I am ashamed of it. It is solid on the ground and rotten at the top. Sincerely, George Collins PS. If you are willing to pass the buck--no, drop it, rather, or try to hide it in your pocket--while SSI workers under your employ are working 96-hour weeks to support themselves and their families, I see no reason to expect you to follow your own rules about email lists; but so help me God, talk to me as a person or don't talk to me at all. If I get anything even slightly like a mass email in response to this I will go to HCS and make
letter to President Rudenstine from Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA)

April 26, 2001 Mr. Neil Rudenstine President Harvard University Massachusetts Hall Cambridge, MA 02138 Dear Neil, I'm writing to express my support for the proposal that Harvard institute a living wage policy, and begin to pay all Harvard employees a minimum of $10.25 an hour plus appropriate benefits, with a commitment to make inflation adjustments in the future. I am proud of my Harvard affiliations and I am pleased to be able to work with Harvard from time to time on legislation. I will be even prouder if Harvard adopts a policy which says that it will not pay its hard working employees at less than the wage needed to stay out of poverty. I have noted statements from the University indicating that only a few hundred employees of all those who are employed by Harvard are now paid less than this. That seems to me an excellent reason for implementing the idea quickly. That is, you have a chance to set an important moral example for the rest of the country - one of the functions of a great University - without incurring enormous costs. I think it is a very good thing for our society that Harvard is as wealthy as it is, because the University generally uses resources in ways that enrich the common good. Diverting a fairly small percentage of those resources to making sure that none of the people who work for Harvard are paid sub-poverty wages seems to me to enhance rather than to detract from the University's beneficial impact on the world. At the federal level I supported a smaller increase in the minimum wage, because I think there is a difference between the level that the federal government can impose on every employer, and the level that is appropriate for a wealthy, charitable institution to implement on its own. That is, I hope Harvard does not take the position that it meets its moral obligations by complying with the minimal requirements of the law, because the University of which I am proud should have more than a negative obligation not to break the law. And it seems to me morally unacceptable for the hard working people that work for the University, especially those who are in fairly difficult jobs, to be paid so little by an entity which is so wealthy. I urge you strongly to act immediately to implement this sensible, decent, and not very expensive proposal. Barney Frank


Sirs: I am always interested to hear your reasons for not negotiating with students about the living wage campaign -- an issue that so dramatically underscores the poverty of spirit within the present Harvard community. As an alumna, as a law student, as a tutor, and as an officer of the University, I would like to think that Harvard is more a community than a corporation. Sadly, it seems that this is not the view of the present administration. I am especially disappointed to hear that President Rudenstine has chosen to disengage as dramatically from the student body as he has done. From my first weeks on campus, when Rudy joined my FUP group for dinner in the basement of UniLu -- sitting with his legs crossed on the table afterwards to talk about the college with fresh-faced first years -- to about a month later, when my roommates and I proudly hung our "We love our Neil" banner from the fire escapes of Weld South to welcome our new President, I have always believed Rudenstine to be a fair individual, and thought him personally invested in seeing that all members of his community are able to support themselves on the wages they earn from their hard and decent work. I still have difficulty imagining him some other way, and appreciate any information you might have to enlighten me on his change of heart, mind and morals. In the meantime, I will remain with my students and colleagues, professors and friends who are sacrificing to maintain the vigil and protest under the grand green canopy of Harvard Yard and the sit-in within Massachusetts Hall. They are the Harvard community to which I am proud to belong. Cordially, Amelie von Briesen A.B. '95/J.D. '01(ant.) Resident Tutor in Law and Fellowships Harvard College
President Rudenstine: I am a second year graduate student in the Government Department, and I write to you tonight adding my name to the voices of those demanding a living wage for Harvard employees. Like many grad students, I took time off before beginning my graduate education. I spent one of the years I took off living in Santa Fe New Mexico, where I earned $6 an hour working as a cook. I wasn't able to pay my rent - even though rents are not as high as they are in Cambridge, they were still out of my price range. I had to take a second job at the same hourly wage, and I worked 70-80 hours a week. What was supposed to be a year of relaxation turned into one of the hardest years of my life. Getting up for work at 8 AM and not getting home until nearly 1 six or seven days a week meant I had no time for friends, no time (or money) for skiing, and no time to enjoy the beautiful New Mexico scenery. I had no health insurance, and had to have emergency dental work done, which cost me several weeks of income due to missed work, and hundreds of dollars which took me months to pay off. What's the difference between me and the people who your university is underpaying? I had options. I could decide to leverage my liberal arts degree and use it to get a better paying job. I didn't have a family to support, so I could pick up and move to another city. Doing all of these things brought me to where I am today: in graduate school, in such an 'ivory tower' that it took me a week to realize how important this issue should be to all of us, to put down my books and my general exam preparation and to drop you this note. I'm mad at myself for taking a week to pull my head out of my books, but I am madder that an august institution such as Harvard is setting such an example. I spent years in college defending women's rights to choose, arguing that this right was a critical part of human rights. Well, so is the right to live in a dignified manner. And it is this that Harvard denies its employees. The benefit package you offered employees is certainly a step toward improving their quality of life, but the fact remains that the issue at its base is financial: people need more money to live. My undergraduate degree is from Haverford College, where I was steeped in the traditions and values of Quakers. They teach that everyone is to be valued and respected as a person: that is what this is all about. I demand that all employees of Harvard be treated with the respect that they deserve. Sincerely, Hillel Soifer Department of Government Harvard University
Dear President Rudenstine, Professor Fineberg, Vice-President Zeckhauser, Dean Lewis, and Vice-President Price, As an alumna of Harvard (AB '93) and a current employee at HSPH, I am writing to express my strong support for the Harvard Living Wage Campaign. I am particularly concerned about subcontracted employees, such as the cleaning workers of White Glove who work at HSPH. The lady who cleans our office in the mornings, Fausta, works three jobs to support her children and usually looks tired and ill when I see her. I believe that it is simply wrong for Harvard, with the vast financial resources it possesses, to contract with businesses who do not pay their employees enough to support their families. I have felt proud of my alma mater in the past, but I cannot say I am now. I strongly urge you to reconsider university policy on this matter. Many thanks for your consideration. Yours sincerely, Laura Horton 36 Meacham Road Somerville, MA 02144
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 17:53:24 -0400 Subject: Livable wage for Harvard employees To Whom It May Concern: As a graduate of Harvard College, I am disgusted and embarrassed that the University still refuses to pay ALL of its employees a living wage. It is inexcusable that this incredibly wealthy institution refuses to offer affordable benefit packages to all workers, and outsources jobs to firms that pay poverty-level wages. These are the people who really make the University function. As a legal services attorney for senior citizens who are often paid a pittance in Social Security, I am confronted every day with the lasting injustice of paying workers less than a living wage. Negotiate now with the students who are sitting in to demand that all Harvard employees and "independent contractors" are paid a living wage, and please be assured that I will not make any gifts to the University until all Harvard workers are paid a living wage, and will urge all of my fellow alumni to do the same. Sincerely, Rebecca T. Plummer, Esq., '93
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 16:32:08 -0400 (EDT) To whom it may concern, We the undersigned are members of the theoretical high energy physics research group at Harvard. We are proud of the academic and physical environment in our group, which makes it one of the most exciting centres of high energy physics in the world. We are, however, concerned that this environment is facilitated, in part, by workers who are remunerated poorly, as has been highlighted by the recent student protests on the issue. We believe that Harvard has an obligation to comply with basic standards of decency, especially in its dealings with its poorest employees. We add our voice to that of others demanding that it do so. Researchers Mina Aganagic Jose Edelstein Rajesh Gopakumar Aaron Grant Kentaro Hori Shiraz Minwalla Carlos Nunez Boris Pioline Andrew Strominger John Terning Graduate Students Ruth A. Britto-Pacumio Matthew Headrick Alex Maloney Kyungho Oh Anastasia Volovitch
Stanford, California > Thursday, April 26, 2001 > >Dear President Rudenstine: > >We, the students of Stanford University, are writing to voice our support >for a living wage of $10.25 per hour plus benefits for all employees of >Harvard University, both direct and subcontracted. We hope that this letter >reminds you that the problem has not gone unnoticed, that even we in the >Stanford community consider the living wage dispute a major issue. Of >course, Harvard depends on all of its employees in order to function on a >daily basis, including the many who are currently receiving poverty wages. >Yours is an institution that prides itself on an outstanding reputation. Now >is the time to live up to such a reputation by demonstrating, at the least, >your concern for the >economic well-being of all your employees. As you know, a >living wage is fair, just, and necessary compensation, and we would like to >see it established at Harvard right away. > >We also ask that you open negotiations with protestors. Your >refusal to respond to the protestors and the requests of a great number >of people both within and without Harvard - not only workers, but also >faculty, political figures, students, and staff - has only a >negative impact on the situation, perpetuating the problem rather than >approaching a solution. We want to see positive steps taken towards a >just end to the conflict. > >While we appreciate your stated intent to provide workers with fair >compensation, we urge you once again to practice what you preach. >You have sought to silence voices of opposition since the onset of this >controversy. A living minimum wage plus benefits is something you >can reasonably provide for all your workers, yet you steadfastly hold >out for the status quo. The facts do not match your claims, and the >time has come for you to do what is right. We are following the >proceedings closely, and we look forward to hearing of the dispute's >resolution. > >Sincerely, (many, many Stanford students)
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 17:23:35 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Re: Message from the President Your perspective, sir, was both brief, as you said, and limited. Just a reminder: 41 students in Mass Hall . . . 30+ tents outside . . . The City Council of Cambridge . . . The State and the Head of the National Democratic Party . . . Dozens of student groups including PBHA and half of the Crimson editors . . . All of the workers unions . . . The AFL-CIO . . . hundreds and hundreds of students from the college and the K/Div/Ed schools . . . All of Mass.' state reps and senators . . . every school in Boston which pays its workers a living wage . . . 200+ faculty who signed a letter supporting the sit-in only 24 hours after the letter was drafted . . . Hundreds of alums who are with-holding giving . . . The Ed school administration which is now conducting an investigation into the outsourcing of their workers . . . CNN, NY Times, NPR. And you still think this is just a few dozen students? And you still think that you are right? Why were none of the faculty and workers now protesting put on that elite committee to investigate the subject? Your letter declares the dialogues of communication closed, slammed shut by that committee, and yet you claim to approach us eager for open dialogue. Instead of philabustering indefinitely with office hours, come out into the open and debate the issues. As a scientist, I value empiral evidence and sir the bulk of evidence that I have gathered on my original quest to discredit what I saw as a bunch of self-righteous radicals convinced me to watch the door of Mass Hall at 3 AM, pitch my tent, and join the picket at 8 AM. The facts are against you. The ethical arguments are against you. Basic human decency is against you. Listen to the people you claim to care about, so that at your next fund raiser you can extol the educational virtues of harvard and fill its coffers not with empty words, but with intellectual capital to build halls and walls dedicated to the Veritas we claim to represent. Respectfully but sorrowfully yours, --Devin Powell, Class of '03
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 16:55:33 -0400 To: Office of the President Subject: LIARS Having emailed previously asking for information toward the beginning of the sit-in, and having been granted that request, I now realize that the university is distorting its own information gathered in the ad hoc committee's report as long as it possibly can. The students no longer believe you. The faculty no longer believe you. The community has never believed you. I used to have faith in this university. You have taken that faith away from me through your blatant lies to the students here and to the media in an attempt to get a good press release. Good Riddance, President Rudenstine, and SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! David Krych, Class of 2003
iDate: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 16:15:32 -0400 (EDT) From: Simon Rippon Subject: Re: Message from the President Dear President Rudenstine, I was disappointed with the patronising tone of your message in the way it refers to those campaigning for a living wage only in terms of "a few dozen students" actually involved in the sit-in. You may have noticed that in recent days, hundreds of students, alumni and faculty have actively supported the campaign with public letters of support and participation in activities outside of Mass Hall. This underlines the point of the campaign - not to "coerce" a decision, but to mobilize the support for fair wages that the administration has failed to recognize in all quarters of the university. The workers' collective bargaining and unionizing process you express support for is being undercut by subcontracting and an unfair balance of power between workers and their employer, the University, and we believe that it is only moral for us to stand up and redress that balance by standing in support of those too weak in this institutional structure to stand up for themselves. Every reflective supporter of the sit-in and related events regrets any disruption caused to those living and working around Mass Hall, but the nature of this protest is peacable and has presented no serious threat to the functioning of any part of the university or to the ability of the residents of Mass Hall to study. I am deeply proud of being a part of a universtiy in which that "few dozen" students and many, many others have taken actions not without personal risk in support of their principle of fairness and equality. Please recognise our wishes as a university, and take steps to implement a wage floor of 10.25 + benefits for Harvard workers immediately. Yours, Simon Rippon, Graduate Student, Department of Philosophy.
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 22:34:49 -0400 Subject: This is not a demand Dear Administrators, Though I believe these to be important issues, I am not writing to demand that Harvard grant its employees -- both direct and subcontracted -- a living wage of $10.25/hr plus benefits. Nor am I writing to demand that you join the Workers' Rights Consortium and agree to fair working conditions both at home and abroad. I am writing to ask that you treat the students currently occupying Mass. Hall as well as the faculty members and the undergraduate and graduate students who have expressed support for the living wage campaign as serious interlocutors in the debate over living wages for Harvard employees. You will certainly contend that by refusing to accept the recommendations of the Ad-hoc committee and by occupying Mass. Hall, the students are the ones who are refusing to treat the administration as serious interlocutors. The facts are well known (even if their interpretation is contentious) so I will not repeat them. But let me suggest something I am sure has already occurred to you: the students have not decided to employ the means they have because they do not want a sincere and legitimate discussion on the issue. The have adopted the means they have because they feel -- not without reason -- that the administration has refused to treat them with the respect owed an interlocutor in any candid debate. Again, I am sure this possibility has already occurred (or been pointed out) to you as it has been cited over and over by the students as their prime reason for their actions, but let me urge you to consider this possibility again and more seriously. Reflect on the fact that as rational beings, we are all responsive to reasons and if the Administration were able to supply cogent and morally supportable reasons for their stance, the students would respond appropriately -- i.e. by conceding or by providing countervailing reasons which could then be further debated -- instead of by occupying Mass. Hall. That the students have occupied Mass. Hall suggests either that the Administration has not offered any such reasons, or that the students are not rational; a possibility you may snicker about in private but which is devoid of any plausibility. I presume that even if we disagree on how Harvard employees are to be treated and compensated for their work we are all agreed on the standards and conventions that govern genuine respectful debate. Outwardly, you will no doubt insist that the Administration has conformed to those standards, but I urge you to re-evaluate your actions and intentions, to dispense with your disingenuousness, and to return to the bargaining table for a resumption (or a beginning?) of serious discussion on this important issue. Sincerely, Christopher Furlong
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 22:19:44 EDT Subject: This is getting embarrassing Dear Harvard leaders: This is getting embarrassing!! The world media are reporting about how stingy our beloved university is -- with our gazillion dollar endowment, we're refusing to pay a few hundred or thousand poorly paid folks who work for us directly or via contractors a wage they can live on, above the poverty line. Any excuses you give for this only make it look worse! You've already spent more money hemming and hawing than it would cost to meet your the demands of your bright-as-ever students -- and their daily growing list of supporters, who range from scores of faculty (some whole departments!) to most of the labor movement to politicians and pop stars. What a mess we've gotten ourselves into. May I suggest that you eat humble pie and say uncle? After all, the students are RIGHT! The ironic question: are the grown-ups grown-up enough to admit they had something to learn, that they were wrong, that they really couldn't conceive of living on such a salary, that they wouldn't want any other breadwinner doing it either, and that the university will henceforth set a floor of $10.25 plus benefits (adjusted hereafter for inflation, I hope) for all its direct and contracted workers. Sincerely, Andy Levin Harvard Law School, Class of 1994
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 17:04:30 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Living Wage Dear President Rudenstine (via Beverly Sullivan), This is Fran Ansley from the University of Tennessee College of Law contacting you about a Living Wage. You may remember that several years ago I wrote to welcome you to the presidency of Harvard and to tell you a story about looking for you -- (I was on a quest to locate past inspiring teachers of mine after having gotten a really nice letter from a student of my own -- You were among those I sought because of the intensity and joy with which I remember you teaching my Hum 2 section -- Milton and Shakespeare especially -- but since I had no idea how to troll for you among the ranks of college English teachers -- which was where I thought you must be when I didn't find you listed as teaching any more at Harvard -- I had pretty much given up the search when I found you in my mailbox on the cover of Harvard Magazine!) Anyhow, all that is not to try to butter you up, but to say again that my image of you sitting cross-legged and reading aloud to us from Paradise Lost continues to support and inspire me in the work of teaching. Thank you. I doubt you are particularly vulnerable to buttering up on the Living Wage issue in any event. This is not something you take lightly or have not really thought about, after all. I am aware at least in a general way of the elaborate study you all undertook on the issue, and of the various encounters and dialogues that have taken place over the past couple of years. I guess all I can do is to say that Harvard ought to do this thing, and that I sincerely hope you will decide to lead it to do so. As our society moves further and further into economic and cultural polarization, and as ever more stratospheric destinations are available to Ivy League graduates, I think it becomes even more important for universities to model a more democratic and socially integrated approach to decisions like the wage structure they create for employees. They should lead the way in treating these issues as questions for democratic deliberation and for the conscious testing of values, rather than as a business decision. Nothing could bring this choice between "corporate modeling" and "community modeling" more sharply into focus than the issue of a living wage for low-wage workers at the university. I am proud of the students who I understand are sitting in at Harvard at this moment. I consider them to be carrying on an important tradition of university-based protest with which I personally identify. (A huge part of the education I got at Harvard was connected to the civics lessons I learned from and with fellow students, faculty and administrators during and after civil disobedience actions connected to the war in Vietnam.) Not every act of civil disobedience is wise or righteous, of course, and I am not personally familiar with the students involved or the immediacies of the situation. But I am thoroughly convinced that the issue of wages and treatment of low-wage workers on university campuses is a truly important one with an important moral component that merits the utmost seriousness. And I am glad to know that there are students at Harvard who are taking up this issue and trying to make a difference. Of course in the present environment, your job is intensely focused on the task of getting additional resources for an institution filled with constituencies who can argue eloquently for how and why they need more money. That may make it hard for you to visualize how bad it really looks from the outside when Harvard decides not to pay a living wage. In your position, it may seem not only plausible, but even natural to think of Harvard as pinched for the resources it needs. From the outside, it verges on the grotesque to think about Harvard's resistance to raising the wage floor above its current level, given living expenses in Boston and given the salaries enjoyed at the upper reaches. It would be a great way to go out, leaving a gesture like this behind. I hope you will seriously consider doing so. Thanks for your time. Fran Ansley Professor of Law University of Tennessee Knoxville
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 17:15:46 -0400 Subject: in support of a living wage Dear President Rudenstine, Provost Fineberg, Vice Presidents Zeckhauser and Price, and Dean Lewis, As an alumnus of Harvard College (83) and HGSE (89) and a current doctoral candidate at the Ed School (02) I am writing to encourage you to end the stalemate at Massachusetts Hall by granting the demands of the Campaign for a Living Wage. In coming to this conclusion, I've carefully read materials available online from both the University and Campaign's perspective, have considered President Rudenstine's recent letter to the Harvard community and have reflected on positions expressed in several recent editorials published in the Boston Globe both supporting and opposing the Campaign. I applaud the University's recognition that the compensation paid to the lowest paid workers is insufficient and agree that some of the benefits proposed by the University could help improve these workers' longer-term prospects for employment and economic success. At the same time, these proposed remedies are insufficient. These benefits cannot be adequately appreciated if workers must work multiple shifts just to make ends meet--all the museum admissions in the world cannot pay the rent. In addition, the University's proposal does not adequately address the very real dangers of outsourcing and/ or shifts in the structure of hours worked to avoid the need to pay benefits. The University should implement the proposed benefits package, perhaps with modifications to deal with the issues of outsourcing and risk of reduction of hours, _in addition_ to raising the minimum wage paid to those working for the University to $10.25 per hour. At the same time, I am appalled by some of the ways that the University administration is handling itself in this conflict. First, it seems hypocritical to me that the University tries to shield itself from responsibility for paying a living wage by claiming that wage scales were agreed to in adversarial collective bargaining agreements, even when the unions have been demanding a living wage for some time. This smacks of the pseudo-moral stance of the tobacco industry which claims legal protection against smokers' lack of knowledge of the risks of smoking based on the existence of the Surgeon General's warnings that the industry fought tooth and nail to avoid. Even in collective bargaining situations, employer and union do not necessarily stand in a position of equal power. Unless those power realities can be addressed and explicated, this defense of the University's policies seems lame at best. In addition, President Rudenstine's call for politeness before further negotiations can occur seems disingenuous to me. Clearly there have been long-standing negotiations leading to limited remedies that I understand have not been implemented in a timely manner. Non-violent resistance through boycotts, sit-ins, strikes and so forth have a long tradition in American (and other) political struggles. They are a respectable means for those who speak with the power of truth and righteousness to stand up against those who hold the purse strings of more formal power. The tactics of the Campaign for a Living Wage seem perfectly reasonable to me within this context. I urge you to negotiate an end to the sit-in at Mass Hall by agreeing fully with the demands of the Campain for a Living Wage. Yours truly, James K. Hammerman, AB 83, EdM 89, EdD 02 -- James K. Hammerman Harvard Graduate School of Education
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 10:54:55 -0400 Subject: Alum concerns about Living Wage...Pay it Now!! Not paying a Livable Wage to hundreds of Harvard Employees is disgraceful. Fire one of the fund managers and that will more than cover it. I will not consider any gift to Harvard until all workers at the Univiersity earn a Livable Wage. Regards, Andrew Tripp '93
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 09:45:13 EDT Subject: Living Wage Campaign Dear Ms. Price: I am rather disturbed by the recalcitrant attitude evinced by the Harvard Administration towards †the Harvard Living-Wage Campaign. As a professional involved in labor relations (I will acknowledge, on the union side), the position of the University is one that can only be characterized as a throw back to the arrogance of the Nathan Pusey era. Even more upsetting to me is the fact that the nation's wealthiest university pays far too many of its workers what can only be characterized in today's economy in the Boston area as a pittance. As an alumni of both the college and the law school, I would urge that the University engage in good faith negotiations to insure that any employee of the University receives sufficient compensation to provide their families with a decent life style. Jonathan Walters, Esquire B.A. 1971, J.D. 1975 Markowitz & Richman
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 00:23:38 -0400 Subject: A Living Wage for Harvard's Workers Dear President Rudenstine, Vice-President Zeckhauser & Provost Fineberg, I am writing to register my support for the courageous action of the students who are currently occupying Massachusetts Hall in support of the Living Wage campaign. It is quite clear and obvious to see that the actions of these students embody the kind of courage, concern and moral vision of which Harvard should be immensely proud. I implore you to act with similar courage & vision, to ensure that Harvard's workers can be sure of a living wage. That an institution like Harvard should be associated with demeaning working practices, and should allow some of its workers to live in poverty, is nothing short of a scandal. It is my sincere hope that this disgraceful situation will soon be put right. With best regards, Martin O'Neill M.A., B.Phil. (Oxford) G2 - Dept of Philosophy. Teaching Fellow in Moral Reasoning.
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 23:26:25 -0400 Subject: UofMichigan supports a living wage Dear Harvard Administrators, I am writing you this evening representing Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality at the University of Michigan. We here completely stand behind the Harvard community in demanding that you pay a living wage to your workers. We also stand behind the demand that any outsourced or reassigned workers also receive a living wage of $10.25 an hour plus basic health care. Around the nation students and communities have been engaged in a struggle with labor to restore respect and dignity to working people here and across borders. Therefore we support your students demand that Harvard sign on the Worker Rights Consortium. The WRC is the next step in the commitment to ensuring that your new code of conduct governing labor standards is more than a useless document. If Harvard would like to be considered an elite institution you must not only show strength in academics but you also much show a strong commitment to human rights. We feel that your inaction in responding to these incredibly reasonable demands shows a lack of commitment to human rights. To be the best Harvard must pay your workers $10.25 an hour with basic health care. As an institution you cannot teach students to understand the need and the place for human rights when you refuse to respect the rights of a vital segment of your community. Students at the University of Michigan strongly stand behind your students and we will continue to stand with them until you meet their demands. Sincerely, Jackie Bray Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality, University of Michigan
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 09:19:39 -0700 Subject: A Living Wage Dear President Rudenstine, Presidents do a lot to make their own place in history. You will be remembered, no doubt, for the billions in Harvard's endowment. You will also be remembered as a man who found injustice more attractive than taking a blow to institutional pride and admitting that you, and the commission you appointed, were wrong. The justice of a Living Wage for all persons employed directly or indirectly by Harvard is so obvious, so simple, that it is often hard to explain to someone not used to the ways of the institution how it could be so rich, could at once pride itself on being a liberal institution, and yet refuse to acknowledge the basic rights of those who take care of it. Last Thursday, I gave a lecture on issues of local and global beneficence I at the Center for Ethics and the Professions at the Kennedy School. There was a fine discussion afterwards -- good and challenging questions -- followed by a several course dinner for 25 or so people in the Malkin Penthouse of the Kennedy School, with more discussion. All the good things of a gracious and wealthy institution. When we were done for the evening, I walked over to Massachusetts Hall where the students were sitting-in and demonstrating for a living wage. It was hard to imagine a more graphic picture of the two faces of Harvard. I felt embarrassed for Harvard. You should too. Barbara Herman, PhD 1976 Griffin Professor of Philosophy UCLA
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 11:13:51 -0400 Subject: a living wage Dear President Rudenstine, I am writing to you on the issue of a living wage for your workers. Have you recently looked into the housing market in Cambridge? I suggest you do - it may change your mind on this topic. I, a senior researcher at MIT, would fine it difficult to rent an apartment in Cambridge. It is unimaginable to me how difficult this would be for workers making less than $10/hour wages. It is, in all honesty, quite shameful that Harvard, the "richest" university in the country, cannot afford to pay its workers a decent salary. I suggest you seize this opportunity to demonstrate to your tenacious and admirable students that your university actually does support the liberal standards it purports to. You are in a position similar to Bill Clinton in his final days; what do you want your legacy to be: avaricious administrator or benevolent and wise president? Sincerely, Allison Macfarlane -- Allison Macfarlane Senior Research Associate Security Studies Program Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 10:41:17 -0400 Dear President Rudenstine, I have been following this week's protest at Harvard in the Boston Globe and the New York Times with interest. One of my colleagues at Harvard tells me that your university earned several billions of dollars in interest on its endowment last year and has been having difficulty deciding how to spend it. In such circumstances it seems almost surreal that your university is treating as a threat the request that a few hundred workers should receive, at most, an extra $3 an hour to bring them up to what the local city council has determined is the minimum livable wage in Cambridge. And your suggestion that the workers should get free English lessons instead would do Marie Antoinette proud. Your administration's mean-spirited obstinacy is a sad thing to watch and, with every day that passes, you inflict further public relations damage on an institution that is supposed to be a beacon of humane values. sincerely, Hugh Gusterson Associate Professor of Anthropology & Science Studies Anthropology Department MIT, 16-247
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 08:56:11 -0500 Subject: living wage sit-in I am writing to demand that Harvard grant a living wage. I urge you to pay all of your employees - both direct and subcontracted -- a living wage of $10.25/hr plus benefits. Harvard University would not be able to operate without its workers. Currently, many of these workers live below the poverty line, and must work outrageous hours in order to make ends meet. This is blatantly unjust. I also urge you to honor the protesters' additional demands for fair working condition both at home and abroad, and join the Workers' Rights Consortium. Harvard University must do everything in its power to uphold the Code of Conduct that it has already passed, or the efforts and solidarity of students, workers, and the administration will have been wasted. It is essential that you negotiate with students who are currently taking action on this issue. They are pursuing values cherished by Harvard and the entire institution of higher education, thinking critically about issues of pressing social concern and taking action on their principles. Sincerely, Marya R. Sosulski Univerisity of Wisconsin-Madison
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2001 09:29:08 -0400 (EDT) Subject: I support a living wage Dear President Rudenstine, Yesterday I handed in my PhD thesis to the registrar, completing the last of my requirements to graduate from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Let me take this opportunity to pledge that I will give no money to Harvard until it supports a living wage. It is a common joke among grad students to refer to ourselves as "cheap slave labor". The Living Wage Campaign came home to me when I realized that the wages that the Living Wage Campaign are requesting for a full time worker correspond to the yearly salary I make as a grad student, and that some Harvard workers currently only make two-thirds of my "cheap slave labor" salary. I am quite thankful for the support I receive, but it does not seem like an extravagant amount. I appreciate the progressive aspects of education benefits for low-paid workers, but that cannot take the place of a living wage. While I am also sympathetic to your frustration with the coercive aspects of the current sit-in, it seems that the primary gain of the sit-in has been to non-coercively raise the awareness of the Harvard community in support of a living wage. I encourage you to re-enter dialogue with the Harvard community about a living wage. I have been told that you will be speaking to the alumni association on commencement afternoon in order to raise money for Harvard. I will be there. I hope I will be donating, and not protesting. Sincerely, Stephen Bailey, GSAS 2001
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 15:21:54 -0400 (EDT) Subject: Please support living wage campaign Dear Administrators, As a Harvard alum (class of '93) I am writing to encourage you to support the demands of workers, faculty, and students for a living wage of $10.25 an hour and benefits. Harvard should set an example that allows those who work for a living to live decent lives. Harvard workers enable the university to achieve its goals: their lives should be comfortable. I urge the university also to subscribe to the Workers' Rights Consortium to protect the rights of workers overseas: allowing Harvard goods to be mead in sweatshops violates everything the university stands for. Sincerely, Maya Fischhoff

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 13:44:45 -0400
Subject: Living Wage at Harvard

Neil Rudenstine, President
Harvard University

Dear President Rudenstine:

The present standoff between the Living Wage Campaign and Harvard
University is a public relations embarrassment and moral disaster for the
University, as the op-ed piece by Tom Jehn in today's Globe clearly argues.
A day earlier in the Globe and on the other side of the struggle, we hear
your spokesperson (Joe Wrinn) saying simply and starkly, "We will not be
adopting a living wage."

You would be better off hiring Jehn as your spokesperson while at the same
time acceding to the demand that all workers at Harvard (whether
sub-contracted or not) be paid a living wage, which only means that the
lowest paid workers would be lifted closer to the poverty level as
calibrated for the Greater Boston area.

Sincerely,

Wayne O'Neil
AM (Honorary) 1965
Professor of Linguistics
MIT
Formerly Professor of Linguistics and Education at Harvard University

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 12:55:15 -0400
Subject: Negotiating for a living wage

Dear Neil, Harvey, Polly, et al:

  A dollars and cents perspective: How much do you pay the contracting job
agencies for every contracted worker you use? One dollar an hour? Two?
Three?  What you are already spending on each worker is close to the living
wage--it's just not going into the workers' pockets, unfortunately.
  How many man-hours did the Ad Hoc committee spend coming up with its (to
some minds, I'm sorry) rather patronizing and unimplemented solution to
worker poverty?  What were the hourly salaries of the people on the
committee?  So how much did this wonderful committee cost the University?
  Neil, I don't know what you earn; I'll make a modest guess that it's in
the neighborhood of $300,000 a year.  Harvey?  Another modest guess:
$200,000. (Forgive me...this is not my world).  Let's assume Polly Price,
Sally Zeckhauser, and Mr. Lewis earn  in this neighborhood.
  I'm going to make the grotesque assumption that unlike your contract
workers, you're up to four weeks' vacation a year, with another 2 weeks'
vacation for holidays (for which your contract workers are not paid), sick
days (ditto), and "personal days" (ditto).
  Things like the Harvard sit-in disrupt the schedule, but lets's take a
normal year.  Neil, if you divide that probably modest guess of $350,000,
not including perks like housing and health benedits (which your workers
don't get), by 46 weeks, you receive a weekly salary of $7608.70, an hourly
wage (based on 35 hours) of $217.40. Harvey, Polly, and the others are
similarly compensated.
  Neil, there is a problem with these sums. One is that whenever the five of
you spend an hour trying to fight the Living Wage Campaign, you are costing
the University over $1,000 an hour.  Throw in a handful of high-powered
lawyers (probably min. $500/hour), various secretaries and support staff,
the catered lunch, xeroxing, etc, and $5000 an hour goes right out the
window.

   And the hours are mounting up.

   And all this time you could've just looked at each other and said: "Hey,
what the heck! Let's pay the people who make our work possible a living
wage."
    Add up the contracting overhead.  Add up the high-salaried hours spent
dealing with this issue (do you really see it going away?).
    Neil, Sally, Harvey...you're hurting the bottom line here. Forget what's
right: save yourselves some money and some headaches. Grant all workers the
living wage.


Andree Pages '77

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 10:09:27 -0400
Subject: Embarassing

Dear Administrators,

It was with great shame that I listened to WBUR's coverage of the Living
Wage campaign this morning.  I fully support all of the students, faculty,
staff and your fellow administrators who are demanding that Harvard
University pay all of its employees - direct and subcontracted - a living
wage.  Now that the national and Massachusetts Democratic parties, along
with the Cambridge City Council, have joined in asking for a living wage, I
sincerely hope you will begin to listen.  The fact that you have repeatedly
refused an open dialogue undermines the very intellectual values which
Harvard University claims to teach at $35,400 (often more) per student!
Honor the contributions of those workers who don't have much, but give
much.

Mark 12:41-44

"And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting
money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor
widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And he called
his disciples to him, and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor
widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.
For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty
has put in everything she had, her whole living.""

Respectfully submitted,
Tim Freiermuth

Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 13:23:18
Subject: Living Wage

Dear Mr. Fineberg and President Rudenstine,

I am writing to express my support for the implementation of a living wage
on Harvard's campus.

I believe Harvard's actions vis a vis a living wage has implications far
beyond Harvard, which is why as a recent alum I have taken the time to
express my dismay at the current situation on campus.

Harvard University is at the vanguard of academia, and a bellweather by
which other universities measure themselves.  Through the implementation of
a living wage on campus, you are not only proving that Harvard understands
the need for a community of workers who are paid enough to live in dignity,
above the poverty level, but you also will be affecting thousands of other
campuses who follow the trends that Harvard sets.

I urge you to follow the Cambridge City Council's lead in implementing a
$10.25 per hour living wage policy.  No matter what metrics you use to
justify a substandard wage, Harvard has the ability to pay the higher wages
and should consider the wellbeing of all members of its community, and
beyond.

Sincerely,

Rachel Greenblatt
Class of '98

Sent: 4/23/01 11:37 PM
Subject: Do the Right Thing Harvard!

Dear President Rudenstine, Provost Fineberg, Vice-President Zeckhauser,
and Ms. Price;

I once worried that Harvard counted on the natural turnover of its
student populations to make student demands easy to ignore.

The 40 students who have been in Massachusetts Hall for almost a week,
and the enormous and overwhelming support they've achieved in that time
has convinced me that while students leave, the issue - in this case the
absurd refusal of the world's second wealthiest non-profit organization
to pay a living wage to its employees - remains.

With the endowment up to $20 billion, there is no conceivable excuse for
not paying a living wage to all employees -whether unionized or not,
whether temporary or permanent.  I have yet to see a statement from
Harvard even attempting to justify this equation.  Of all places,
Harvard has the unique privilege and opportunity to resist the demands
of the dollar that force many universities to sacrifice academic for
economic concerns.  It demeans the institution and certainly demeaned me
as a student of Harvard that so many members of the Harvard community -
the people who keep the physical facilities running - are not uplifted
by their relationship with Harvard, as so many thousands of students
are.

Come on Harvard - do the right thing.  You can afford it; with the
levels of outrage throughout the Harvard community, Cambridge, your
alumnae base, public intellectuals, and the country, you can no longer
afford not to.

I will look forward to your response -- not the statement issued last
week.  I'd actually prefer you respond to this letter by negotiating
with PSLM, but an explanation of your refusal to do so, and to grant a
living wage, would also be appreciated.

Sincerely,
Liz Vladeck, Harvard and PSLM '99
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
New York, NY

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 23:48:56 -0700
Subject: living wage

Harvey Fineberg, MD, Ph.D.
Provost
Harvard University

Dear Dr. Fineberg:

I am writing to express my concerns about the current student/labor actions
in support of raising wages for Harvard's lowest paid workers.  As an
alumnus of the School of Public Health during your tenure as Dean, I am
aware of your longstanding personal and professional committment to improve
the lives of society's poorest and most disadvantaged members.  Like many
other HSPH graduates, I have tried to incorporate this committment into my
own work in primary care and disease prevention.  It is in this context that
I appeal to you to use your position within the University to support the
current living wage campaign.  While the current student acts of nonviolent
civil disobience are perhaps disruptive to the daily life of the University,
the goals of the campaign are just;  Harvard's lowest paid workers do not
currently enjoy a "living wage", and are forced to live in poverty while
serving one of the wealthiest private institutions of the world.  Harvard
has the ability to teach by example, and should take this opportunity to
demonstrate that there is dignity in work, that private institutions have a
direct responsibility to fight poverty, and that Harvard has a unique role
in supporting national efforts to extend the benefits of a productive
economy to the workers that produce that wealth.

In 1990, McCord and Freeman wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine
about excess mortality in Harlem, and decried the nation's enormous health
disparities.  In a subsequent letter in NEJM, I wrote that the response to
this national tragedy "must include both public health interventions and
efforts to eliminate ... poverty in the midst of plenty."  Harvard's support
for the living wage campaign would be an important effort in this noble
cause.

Sincerely,

Jon Liebman, MSN, MS
HSPH 1987

Date: 23 Apr 2001 18:32:35 MDT
Subject: Letter to President Rudenstine

April 23, 2001-Cleveland, Ohio

TO:  Neil Rudenstine, President, Harvard University
email: beverly_sullivan@harvard.edu

Dear President Rudenstine,

I urge you to negotiate in good faith with the Harvard workers and students to
ensure a living wage for all associated with your great institution.

Given the costs for housing and other expenses in your area, a living wage of
$10.25/hr plus benefits, for all of your employees - both direct and
subcontracted - seems reasonable. I understand that currently many of these
workers live below the poverty line.

I thank you for passing a Code of Conduct. In order to uphold this Code, I
respectfully request that you honor the protesters' additional demands for
fair working condition both at home and abroad, and join the Workers' Rights
Consortium.

Harvard University has achieved an international reputation for your high
standards of educational and institutional excellence. I hope that you
recognize the critical role of your students and workers for the prestige and
quality of your institution. Their demands seem reasonable. Please listen to
them, treat them with respect and work honestly towards a fair and dignified
resolution of their concerns.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Todd Packer

Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 17:14:56 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
Subject: A living wage for all Harvard workers

Dear President Rudenstine,

I am writing to urge you and your administrators to negotiate directly
with the protesters at Mass Hall.

The Harvard students currently occupying Mass Hall are absolutely right
when they say that the set of alternative measures to the living wage that
you announced last year are shamefully inadequate to address to problem of
poverty wages at this university.  Simple decency demands that all Harvard
workers, whether directly employed or hired through outside firms, be paid
a living wage.  Subcontracting and reclassification are no excuse to cut
the wages and benefits of the people who serve the wealthiest university
in the wealthiest nation on earth.

It is time for Harvard to lived up to its responsibilities and its
rhetoric.  I, along with thousands of other Harvard staff, faculty,
students, and alumni, urge you to negotiate in good faith, and to
negotiate now.

Respectfully,
Kathleen M. Gillespie
Staff Assistant
Harvard Graduate School of Education

Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 16:27:24 -0400
Subject: Living Wage at Harvard

Dear Harvard Administrators,

I am a professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
who has been studying living wage campaigns for the past
five years. I am convinced that the benefits of living
wage policies for cities and universitites far outweigh
the costs.

Study after study shows that living wage ordinances result
in a substantial improvement in the standard of living
for workers, while resulting in negligible relative costs
for the employers.

I have attached an op-ed I recently wrote for the
Sonoma County Press Democrat, in case you would like
more information on this research.

I urge you to adopt the proposal put forward
by the Harvard Living Wage Coalition.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Luce
Assistant Professor
University of Massachusetts-Amherst


Living Wages: Examining the Evidence
By Stephanie Luce

When people discuss proposals like the living wage ordinance
that Sonoma County governments are being asked to consider over
the next few months, it is tempting to resort to theoretical
arguments. Those who oppose the ordinance can argue that economic
theory predicts that when we raise wages, workers will be laid off.
Those who support the the proposal can argue that economic theory
also predicts that raised wages will improve worker commitment,
reduce turnover and absenteeism, and increase productivity.
Fortunately, in the case of living wage ordinances, we need not
rely on competing puzzling theories. Instead, we can turn to a
growing body of empirical research that demonstrates the effect
that actual living wage proposals have had on the more than forty
communities that have passed them.

In Baltimore, two different studies by two separate research teams,
one led by faculty at Johns Hopkins University and the other by
researchers at the independent Preamble Center for Policy Research,
had similar findings. First, average contract costs to the city have
declined slightly relative to inflation since the ordinance has passed.
Second, there has not been a significant reduction in the number of
firms bidding on city contracts. Third, employment of less-skilled
workers did not decline after passage of the living wage law, according
to interviews with workers.  Fourth, business investment in the city of
Baltimore continued to grow following the law's enactment. Fifth,
although only a modest number of workers were affected by the
ordinance, those interviewed reported real gains to both their
incomes and their dignity as a result of the ordinance. Finally,
employers who were interviewed reported improvements in employee
morale and productivity and reductions in employee turnover.

In Los Angeles, a city-commissioned study led by researchers at
UCLA had similar general findings. Of 30 firms examined in a case
study, in slightly more than half (56%), neither costs to the city
nor employment levels changed substantially following passage of
the ordinance. In less than a third (27%), some costs were passed
on to the city. In less than a fifth (17%), some workers were laid
off or assigned to other jobs. The overall employment shifts and
declines were about 3%. The researchers stressed the importance
of competitive bidding in avoiding job loss or increased costs to
the city. Cases where workers were reassigned or costs were passed
on to the city were generally not subject to competitive bidding.
Finally, as in Baltimore, employers reported that the ordinance
improved the efficiency of their workers.

In San Jose, a brief report by city staff six months after passage
found similarly benign or positive effects. The report says "no small
businesses have been adversely affected by the Policy's requirements."
In terms of contract bids, the report argues "there is no evidence that
contractors are unwilling to bid due to the new requirements." The
report also looked at workers on contracts affected by the ordinance
and found that 51% of workers on affected contracts received wage
increases due to the ordinance and that 61% of those workers were
San Jose city residents.

In short, in all these empirical studies of living wage ordinances
that have passed, the predictions of opponents have not been borne
out. Instead, living wages appear to bring about real gains for a
modest number of low-paid workers, without hurting businesses or the
city. And in many cases, employers too have gained, with more committed,
better trained workers. In Sonoma County, a growing proportion of
workers earn poverty level wages. This year, the Sonoma County City
Councils have the chance to reverse that trend for a small number
of workers. The competing theories are complicated. But the facts
are simple. Living wages work for workers, for businesses and for
cities.

Stephanie Luce, Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at the
University of Massachusetts - Amherst, is the co-author of The
Living Wage: Building a Fair Economy.

Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 05:44:04 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Please meet with living wage students (from Virginia Tech)

Dear President Neil Rudenstine and Harvard
Administration,

We here at Virginia Tech look forward to you doing the
right thing and meeting with your hardworking and
intelligent students to help make Harvard a better
place for its employees and the entire community. 
Please take time to think about this issue and make
sure that you stand on the right side. Stand strong
with your employees and champion a better higher
education community not only for Harvard, but for the
country.  Lead the way for schools across the country,
to become places of decency and moral justice.  On the
other hand, the time to lead is a brief one. If you do
not take the lead now, other schools will and the time
of Harvard being the hallmark for the country may be
shown to be past. So please meet with your students
today, so that all of us can help work for a better
tomorrow (corny but true).

Sincerely,
Chris Gale


Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 08:35:02 -0400

Dear President Rudenstine:

  Harvard's unwillingness to pay the Living Wage in light of its substantial 
wealth and regular budget surpluses is unseemly.  The use of a contract work 
force by an employer with stable labor needs also seems designed to skirt 
responsibility.  Harvard is not a business that needs to downsize or upsize 
every quarter according to market demand for its products.  Harvard has a 
certain number of buildings that need to be cleaned and guarded; a certain 
number of people who need to be fed in its cafeterias.
  A university is a community.  To teach and to learn and to steer, 
professors and students and administrators need maintained buildings, 
cafeterias, and a level of security.  Why is it not clear that just as the 
fund-raising you do and student tuition pays their salaries, the work they 
do makes your work possible?
  In the modern bottom-line-driven world, low-wage workers have little 
political voice, which is why students with a higher profile and guaranteed 
[I hope] food and shelter are raising the issue.
  Consider what the impact of a Living Wage would be on the morale and 
reputation of the University, as well as on the single mother who must feed 
and clothe her children. Focusing on the visible knot of students is a 
distraction from the crowd of workers whose daily lives depend on your 
answer, and on the rest of the Harvard students, professors, and alumni 
whose pride in their community rests with you.

Respectfully,
Andree Pages '77
New York City


Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 11:59:06 -0400
Subject: A living wage

Dear President Rudenstine, Provost Fineberg, Vice President Zeckhauser,
Dean Lewis, and Associate Vice President Price,

This message is from a former machinist who became a Harvard alum and has
been a university professor for thirty-seven years.

Have you any idea what it's like to live on an income below the official
poverty level -- to live on the wages that are paid to hundreds of workers
who are employed (directly or indirectly) by Harvard?

Is it for Harvard a matter of principle to pay as little to its workers as
the market will bear?  Is Harvard's idea "Each corporation for itself and
the devil take the hindmost"?  That's what it seems.

An institution tells us what it stands for by its actions.  Harvard is
disgracing itself by its rejection of the living wage.

You cannot win this one.  So I urge you to change direction -- sooner
rather than later -- and share the tiny fraction of Harvard's enormous
resources that it will take to pay the living wage.  Make us once again
proud, rather than ashamed, to be associated with Harvard University.

Sincerely,
David Lyons
PhD & MA 1963
Knox Traveling Fellow 1963-4
Susan Linn Sage Professor of Philosophy emeritus and Professor of Law
emeritus, Cornell University
Professor of Law and of Philosophy, Boston University
Lyons - 4 Carolina Place - Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 - (617) 524-2305

Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2001 10:34:47 -0400
Subject: Dean Murphy: Support the Living Wage Campaign

Dear Dean Murphy,

I write to you as a HGSE student, urging you to speak with the Harvard
Presidents and other Deans and Provosts about paying all Harvard employees at
least $10.25, in accordance with the Living Wage campaign.

I have shown a Living Wage petition to more than 200 HGSE students just in the
past two weeks and every student and professor with whom I've spoken has
signed the petition. In addition, I have met with the HGSE student government
about the Living Wage campaign and they have given their official endorsement.

It is clear that an employer of such means as Harvard University is commiting
a moral scandal by not paying its workers a livable wage. Now you are no small
fundraiser yourself. Please think about your responsibility to our community
and do the moral minimum of pushing for a wage that employees can live on,
whether they have been "outsourced," such as the HGSE security guards, or not.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter,
Matthew Knoester
EDMI student

Dear Harvey:
> >I hope you are doing well. I just heard there is a protest going on re:
> >employees earning a livable wage. As both an alum and former employee, I
> >support this action. Please consider instituting a livable wage policy at
> >the world's richest university. I know of many former students who
>support
> >this action. With a bit more effort, probably many more alums would
> >reconsider donating funds to Harvard's endownment fund until this issue
>is
> >dealt with fairly and sensibly.
> >
> >Thanks for listening.
> >
> >Dolita Cathcart '81
> >Instructor of History
> >Wheaton College
> >Norton MA
> >508.286.3652

>Dear Adminstrators,
>
>I am writing to urge you to negotiate with the protesters currently
>occupying Mass Hall. I am entirely in support of the demands and the
>tactics of the living wage campaign. As a resident advisor and teaching
>fellow, I have often worked hard to enforce and promote Harvard policy.
>This loyalty stems out of a belief that Harvard's policies are in place to
>protect its undergrads, to further their education and growth and to
>generally promote a healthy and just community. However, Harvard's
>refusal to treat a significant segment of its community in a just manner
>undermines the very values that I, and many others, work to promote.
>
>A number of my family members work as cooks and cleaners at Middlebury
>College. They are no less important, long-standing or loyal members of the
>Middlebury College community than any professor, graduate student or
>undergraduate. When a segment of a community is treated unjustly every
>member of that community is responsible and implicated. Harvard has the
>largest endowment of any university; it is morally corrupt for it to seek
>to save money at the expense of its most vulnerable and powerless members.
>
>I am the resident tutor, teaching fellow, and advisor for a number of
>students involved in this protest and campaign. I expect them to be
>treated fairly and gently. If Harvard chooses to arrest them or ad-board
>them, I will take this very seriously. A large segment of my department,
>from graduate students to senior faculty, are becoming increasingly
>disturbed and concerned about Harvard's policy and its response to the
>activists. I certainly hold you responsible for their safety throughout
>this occupation and in its aftermath.
>
>Sincerely,
>
>Amanda S. Green
>G3 Philosophy

Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 22:06:05 -0400
Subject: Please focus on the worthiness of the goals

Dear President Rudenstine:

   You can be proud that Harvard admitted such a fine group of young men and
women, people who care about the lives of others less fortunate than they,
people who recognize the responsibility that the comforable and educated
have in ensuring those less well-endowed have a shot at a life of dignity,
being paid a living wage for their labor.  Maybe the children of these
workers will be proud of where their parents worked, and maybe they too will
apply to Harvard someday.  An institution's reputation rests on many things;
the caliber of Harvard's students is shining through loud and clear,
although inconveniently perhaps, this weekend.
  Be proud of them--let them lead your generation. Negotiate with them in
good faith, and never lose sight of the fact that this is NOT about losing
face, but a simple bread-and-butter economic issue that it is time to face.
  Thanking you in advance for your work in good faith,

Andree Pages '77

Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 16:55:46 EDT
Subject: Angels or Beasts

Dear Mr. Rudenstine,

     The country and the world gets a strong impression that allthough your
name is still listed and your body is still at Havard (expiration date is July
1st), your mind is allready elsewhere. Otherwise, why would the president of
the world's most avangaurd thinking tank vacate his office for rather
hypocritical reasons - not to face the fruits of the teachings that he had been
implementing himself as a president: to altruisticly pursue justice, truth, and
social compassion.
     Aren't you aware that your students are demanding nothing other than that?
If you feel like no longer being a president, than at least call upon the
teacher in you and the citizen in you. Do you hear anything? If not, call upon
the Man. And be careful in telling yourself that you hear no response, because
that would mean that you are dead.
In this case, don't you care, after all, whether your necrology is writtten by
angels or beasts?

Justin Angel & Vladimir Beast

>Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 15:50:10 EDT
>
>This is a request to ask you to negotiate with the students who are
>sitting
>in about a "living wage"-namely $10.25 per hour for ALL HARVARD WORKERS. We
>would hope the Harvard would show the way for the nation that a living wage
>is the absolute bottom line for a democratic society that hopes for
>stability
>and peace.
>
>Margery & Fred Cohen

Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 15:04:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Support a Living Wage and Join the WRC

I am writing in response to a call of solidarity put out by the United
Students Against Sweatshop affliate at Harvard who is the group currently
sitting in at Massuchusetts Hall.  These students, faculty, and concerned
citizens are calling on Harvard to act in a socially responsible manner.
I urge you to, at the very least, negotiate with these protesters and, at
the most, agree to meet their demands.

The demands of the Living Wage Campaign: to join the WRC and pay a living
wage of $10.25 to workers are not radically unnecessary requests.  These
demands are instead a call for Harvard, as an institution, to commit to
thinking and acting locally.  Workers deserve to be payed a sustainable
wage for their lively hood.  Hold yourself accountable.

And joining the Workers Rights Consortium should go without saying.
There are sweatshop abuses.  There are people suffering.  The WRC has
proven effective, Kukdong being the most recent example.  I am surprised
Harvard isn't already a member of this amazing organization.  Support an
end to sweatshop abuses abroad - join the WRC.

much love,
maureen capillo
saint mary's college

when i fed the poor they called my a saint.
when i asked why they were poor, they called me a communist.
  ~ archbishop hedler chamoa

Dear President Rudenstine,
 
    We are writing to express our support for the†students occupying
Massachusetts Hall and for a living wage for all†Harvard workers.† We
urge you to negotiate with the students, who are acting in the spirit of
a long tradition of conscience and activism at Harvard.† We hope and
trust that the university will take this opportunity to change course and
agree to implement a living wage policy for all Harvard workers.
 
    Yours sincerely,
 
    Yael Simpson Fletcher, '78
 
    Ian Christopher Fletcher, '79






Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 18:42:28 -0000
Subject: living wage campaign

Dear Ms. Price,
†
As an H-R alumna o 1970, I urge you to support the student/staff campaign
for a living wage for all Harvard employees, in line with the example set
by the Cambridge City Council of $10.25 per hour with benefits.
†
My own "Harvard" generation was marked by active involvement in social
justice and peace issues. I am relieved to find that the current
generation is also so inclined. Harvard must be doing something right by
its students after all. I am proud of them.
†
I will consider "giving" to H-R for the first time ever if this campaign
is successful.
†
Sincerely,
†
Linda M. Marsella
H-R '70

April 20, 2001

Mr. Harvey Fineberg, Provost
Harvard University

(by e-mail)

Dear Mr. Fineberg,

Imagine what John Harvard would think if he walked the grounds of the
University today.  He'd find a beautiful campus staffed by a prestigious
faculty.  He'd meet interested students from all parts of the world eager to
learn and contribute to the betterment of our kind.  He'd discover an
institution with an outstanding reputation, among the wealthiest schools in
the nation, unwilling to pay a living wage to many of its employees.  I
suspect this dichotomy would puzzle him.  As a Christian minister, the second
part of the greatest commandment, to love your neighbor as yourself, would
have been an admonishment he took seriously.  To see the present day
University so blatantly disrespect it would, I'm sure, deeply disappoint him.

The Cambridge City Council has called for a living wage of $10.25 an hour.
That's a paltry sum by any measure.  You can't support a family on it, but
it's a start and I urge you to support it.  This is an opportunity for
Harvard to set an example in establishing fair employment practices.


Sincerely,
James Rebhorn


Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 12:49:40 -0400
Subject: Peaceful Negotiations Are In Order

Dear Neil, Harvey, Polly, et al:

   Students who have thought long and hard about the inequity around them
are trying to make a meaningful difference.  You know they are not a flash
in the pan.  You also know they will not go away.  There may be a few rabble
rousers in the bunch, but for the most part these are serious young people
demonstrated well thought-out convictions, and their ideas are hardly
radical.
   Please seek out the thoughts of many different people before you harden
yourselves against the possibility of negotiating.  There are many avenues
to successful compromise.  You represent a community, and the community is
speaking.  While many decry what the students are doing, how many have
actually decried what they are asking for?

Thank you for your consideration.
Nanook Pages
Parent and Alumna

This guy is also helping organize support at Tufts.
********************************************************************
Subject: living wage

Pres. Rudenstine and Harvard administrators,

As an academic and a Cambridge resident I am quite alarmed by a state of
affairs that leaves many of your workers with inadequate wages. Two
years ago the Cambridge City Council voted to make $10/hr a minimum wage
for city workers - a sum necessary to maintain a reasonable standard of
living in Cambridge. That workers for the country's richest and most
prestigious university have to scrape by on substandard wages is
unconscionable.

Many of your students, faculty members and staff have joined in protests
and demonstrations to urge you to listen to reason and to respond
to the needs of your workers. Listen to them! They are voices of
compassion and ethical responsibility.

      Sincerely yours,
         Gary Goldstein

******************************************
Prof. Gary R. Goldstein
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

Dear President Rudenstine,

Every Thursday I teach two sections of Shakespearean Tragedy in Barker
#114. I don't know if you are familiar with this room, but teaching there
provides a rather bizarre study in contrasts. My students and I sit around
a gorgeous handmade $80,000 table, placed on what must be a similarly-
priced rug. In the process of discussing our readings, I espouse to them
the value of a liberal arts education: studying these 400 year-old plays,
I explain to my skeptical audience, can make you more critical thinkers,
more ethical world citizens, more capacious and generous in your tastes
and values, less provincial, more humane. But outside the full glass walls
and doors of our seminar room, janitors who live below the poverty level
quietly haul our trash and mop our floors.

Frankly, you and I both know that it is shameful that the wealthiest
university in the world refuses to pay all of its workers a living wage.
There is simply no moral defense for refusing to pay both direct and
subcontracted employees enough to live above the poverty line.

I recognize that it would feel awkward to you to respond to student
demands under this kind of pressure. But this is a community that has
always operated with mutual respect and dialog; and as you well know, this
kind of sit-in tactic has been avoided for decades now. The only unwelcome
precedent to be concerned about here is positioning yourself on the wrong
side of so clear-cut a moral issue. My sense of the mood among graduate
and undergraduate students is that you will earn only respect and
cooperation by negotiating with those taking action on this issue, and by
immediately agreeing to pay all employees at least $10.25/hour. There is
no shame in correcting policy to better actualize the values that Harvard
claims to cherish.

Veritas,

Wendy Hyman


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wendy Hyman                                                  Barker Center
Harvard University                                        12 Quincy Street
Department of English                                  Cambridge, MA 02138


Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 20:01:57 -0400
Subject: You probably know

Dear Neil:
   Sometimes we find ourselves in a position which we suddenly realize is
shameful.  Sometimes that makes us fight all the harder to justify it.
Please understand that what is most important, always, is to look inside.
You may see the students as a bunch of punks, but I think they are capable
of seeing you administrators as misguided, not evil, people.  Harvard can
take a collective breath and move into the future as a community that cares
about all its members.  Trust me--the improved wages will pay off in
increased productivity and pride.
   This is an issue that has the potential to split the community in two.
Think of South Africa.  Think of the Labor Movement in this country in the
early part of the century.  The minimum wage has not kept up with inflation.
  These people need to pay heating bills, to take their children to the
doctor, to buy eyeglasses.
   You guys did great with the bottom line.  Maybe now it's time to think of
other issues.  Neil--here is a place where you could really grow, and leave
a legacy that all would be greatful for.  You have had your dark nights of
the soul.  Let this be a great gift to the human beings who work here--a
gift that they have more than earned.
   On some deep level, maybe you are proud that these students cared more
for their fellow man than their own comfortability.  These are serious
people; please treat their requests seriously.
Andree Pages '77

Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2001 2:37 PM
Subject: Tufts students support sit-in


Harvard Administrators,
     We, the student coalition for social justice and non-violence at Tufts
University fully support the sit-in taking place in your administration
building right now and their issue.  We ask that you please listen to the
concerns that Harvard students are expressing and try to reach some sort of
agreement.  We ask that you please do not physically or pycologically harm
the students as they only mean well.
     We, the students of Tufts University in solidarity with our fellow
students at Harvard University will be fully supportive of them and will be
in dialogue with them and other students at Harvard, Tufts, and other
Boston-area schools to help you in reaching a conclusion that will satiate
all parties involved.
     Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

Peace,

Louis Esparza, Tufts University, LA'03
The Tufts University Coalition for Social Justice and Non-violence

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 14:36:07 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Please give all Harvard Employees a wage they can live on

To Whom it May Concern,

Please begin negotiations with the students and
community members engaged in the sit-in for a living
wage for Harvard employees. Even the suggested minimum
of $10.25 per hour is not enough, in my opinion.
Harvard is one of the richest schools in the country,
with one of the most impressive endowments of any
private University. How shameful it is (yet, I
suppose, to be expected given the increasing gap
between the "elites" and the rest of the world) that
such an illustrious and wealthy school would refuse to
adequately compensate the people who operate Harvard
on the most fundamental levels.

Human beings are not resources. They should not be
considered expendable or disposable. Rates of pay
should not be decided in a race to the bottom, where
those who are willing to work for the least get the
jobs. People should not be forced to beg for the
privilege to serve modern corporate feudal lords and
then still not be able to pay their bills at the end
of the month.

Alternative Media is alive and strong. This protest
may or may not make it onto the evening news, but rest
assured that your actions are being watched.

Please consider a living wage. It's the right thing to
do.

Sincerely,
Aaron Harmon



Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 16:57:57 -0400
Subject: living wage/annual contributiooon

To Neil Rudenstine, Harvey Fineberg, Sally Zeckhauser, Harry Lewis, and
Polly Price,

It is deeply upsetting to me that Harvard has not yet adopted a living
wage for all workers.  I would like to feel pride in my alma mater. The
more I read and learn about this issue, the more I am disappointed in
Harvard. I believe people who work at Harvard deserve to be paid enough to
live in dignity above the poverty level and support a family. Please,
follow the Cambridge City Council's lead in implementing a $10.25 per hour
living wage policy.

I have given to Harvard/Radcliffe annually since I graduated from
Radcliffe five years ago.  I will not be giving again to Harvard in the
absence of a living wage for all workers.  I am also encouraging my
Harvard affiliated friends, relatives, and classmates who may not know as
much about this issue currently to read up on it and follow suit.

This is an opportunity for Harvard, as one of the most prestigious and
wealthiest universities in the world, to set an example in fair employment
practices.  What are you waiting for???

Sincerely,

Jane Gray '95/'96


Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 17:42:17 -0500
Subject: for a living wage

Quite frankly, I would find it amusing that one of the wealthiest and most
prestigious educational institutions in America refused to pay a living wage
to its workers, if I didn't know that the workers were suffering because of
it.

Please end this ridiculous charade by doing the right (read: "prestigious")
thing.

Marikah Mancini
Krannert School of Management
Purdue University

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 13:2:46 -0700
Subject: Fair Compensation for Harvard Workers

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001

Dear President Rudenstine,

I have been accepted into the Master of Divinity program at Harvard
Divinity School and I will be attending HDS in the fall.  I am writing to
voice my serious concern about Harvard's compensation policies. I urge you
to pay all of your employees a living wage as a matter of simple social
justice.

As an entering student who will be focusing my work on social justice
ministry, and who has worked hard to implement a living wage in my own city
(Los Angeles), I find it shocking and deeply disturbing that Harvard is
failing to provide its employees with sufficient compensation to feed and
clothe their families.

I was further disturbed to learn that not a single worker was included on
the Ad Hoc Committee on Employment Policies, which suggests to me that this
committee did not accurately represent the views of the entire Harvard
community.

Further, I urge you to negotiate with students who are currently taking
action on this issue. They are in fact pursuing what I can only assume are
values cherished by Harvard.  They should be commended for thinking
critically about issues of pressing social concern and taking action to
address them constructively.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Susan P. Conrad

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 15:23:23 -0400
Subject: fair and equitable compensation

Dear President Rudenstine,

I am writing to voice my concern about Harvard's compensation policies. I
urge you to pay all of your employees a living wage as a matter of simple
justice. As you know, the original concept behind the adoption of minimum
wage legislation was to provide employees with the means necessary to
adequately support themselves and their families. The minimum wage has not
been adjusted for inflation over the years and at this point, ironically,
the worker who makes minimum wage falls below federally determined poverty
standards.

I also urge you to negotiate with students who are currently taking action
on this issue. They are in fact pursuing what I can only assume are values
cherished by Harvard. They are thinking critically about issues of pressing
social concern and taking action on their principles.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Nahma Nadich
Director of Social Justice Programs
JCRC of Greater Boston


Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 10:18:16 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: in solidarity to you all

__________________________________________________
Provost Fineberg,

I am a 1996 graduate of the College and now practicing
as an attorney. I've been extremely disheartened by
the recent reports of the University's resistance to
negotiations towards a living wage for all of its
employees. I speak confidently on behalf of many of my
classmates when I urge you and President Rudenstine to
reconsider your positions and act immediately to
address the concerns of Harvard's workforce.  In this
day and age, Harvard cannot ignore its larger social
responsibilities as an employer and as a venerable
leadership institution in society.  But even if we
make this a simple issue of economics, the answer is
just as clear: it does not pay to deny employees a
living wage.  Such ignorance of this basic fact
(supported by numerous studies and the experiences of
successful business around the nation) is both
shocking and, ultimately, saddening.

It is unthinkable that our University would be
unwilling to provide *basic* living necessities to the
very people who make the institution the comfortable,
privileged site of enlightenment that it purports to
be.  I commend the students and workers who are taking
a stand.  They are not only brave, but they are true
leaders who understand that the balance of a
University's operation should never be at the cost of
the lives, health and morale of its employees.

Thank you.

Jennifer Ching '96


Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 09:38:29 -0700
Subject: Living Wage Campaign

Dear Administrators,

I am writing to express my support for the Living Wage Campaign.  I hope that
both sides can find a way to dialogue and resolve the situation.  As an alumnus
I am a bit ashamed to know that I have contributed to a University that has not
been paying their employees a living wage.  As a student, I was able to get to
know many of the dining and maintenance workers, and I was able to appreciate
their efforts to go beyond their job descriptions to truly provide a sense of
community in the era of randomization.

Thank you for your time and energy.

Joe Pattaphongse
Adams House '00

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 11:16:40 -0500
Subject: negotiate with living wge protesters

President Rudenstine,
        I wirte to urge you in the strongest possible terms to enter into
productive negotiation with those demanding living wages for Harvard and
Harvard-contracted workers. As the spouse of an alumna and a higher ed
faculty member myself, I feel particularly strongly about this issue.
Harvard's national prominence makes if even more important that you do
the right thing in this instance since your actions will be closely
watched throughout higher education. Anyone doing productive and
socially useful work for one of the wealthiest institutions in the world
should make at least a wage that yields a modestly comfortable living.I
look forward to hearing soon that this issue has been resolved with the
granting to living wages to all affected workers and a policy to that
effect established for the future.

Sincerely,

Joe Berry

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 14:21:51 -0400
Subject: Re: food stamps and medicare

Dear Provost Fineberg,

Thank you for replying to my email.  With reference to the
recommendations of the faculty committee, your claims would be more
credible if you provided some numbers indicating how many workers on
campus have taken advantage of these programs.  Surely whichever
department in human resources administers these benefits programs can
easily come up with a figure.  According to the living wage campaign,
only NINETEEN workers have actually benefitted from the extension of
healthcare!  How many workers have enrolled in the language classes, and
what steps have been taken to notify workers of these classes?

While language classes do provide upward mobility, they are no
substitute for a living wage for workers who have to pay their rent and
feed their family this month.  I urge you to talk to some of the working
poor on this campus and ask them about their upward mobility -- ask them
how they and their families are managing to get by.  I would guess that
after hearing their stories, you would have a hard time looking them in
the eye and telling them that Harvard has decided they should continue
to live in poverty until they start to enjoy the upward mobility created
by the language classes Harvard is offering.

I assume you are kidding when you note that "only" 400 workers are paid
poverty wages.  Paying poverty wages is morally wrong, whether they are
paid to one single worker or 10,000 workers.  The committee must have
fundamentally misunderstood the demand of the living wage campaign if it
thought that campaign was demanding a living wage for all but the
poorest 400 workers on campus -- they are demanding a living wage for
ALL workers on campus.  Also, it is disingenuous for the administration
not to count outsourced workers, who were outsourced precisely because
Harvard wants to avoid paying a living wage!

The relevance of the collective bargaining issue is completely unclear
to me.  Surely the fact that a poverty wage was negotiated through
collective bargaining doesn't make it just.  Moreover, the reference to
collective bargaining is disingenuous and misleading.  I am sure you're
aware that the vast majority of workers who are paid poverty wages on
this campus are temporary workers or outsourced employees who are not
unionized.  If you were serious about the collective bargaining
objection, you would at least offer a living wage to all those workers
who are not members of a collective bargaining unit, such as the
temporary and outsourced workers.

All of these objections to the faculty report have been pointed out time
after time to the administration, which has yet to respond to them.

Sincerely,
Michael Mirarchi
HLS '01


Dear Provost Fineberg:

I am writing in support of the Harvard employees who earn less than $10.25
per hour and of the students who are protesting on their behalf.

As an alumnae of the Kennedy School and someone who is dedicated to
narrowing the gap between rich and poor, I am distressed to see the lack of
real progress on this issue.  I understand that Harvard has taken the issue
seriously and has tried to address it with other solutions, such as
benefits and training.  I applaud those efforts but I know that they simply
do not match up to the value of a living wage.

In my professional and personal life, I have come to know many low-skilled
workers.  While nearly all of them would benefit from job training and
better language skills, those goals become nearly impossible to pursue
unless and until they have gotten beyond the day-to-day struggles of
maintaining a roof over their heads and food for their families.  A parent
who is earning less than $10 and living in the Boston area often must
string two jobs together to make ends meet.  That parent may want very much
to improve his or her language and work skills, but there simply isn't time
left in the day when one is working 60 hours and struggling to keep a
family in tact.

This is not an easy issue.  It may indeed seem difficult to pay more to
people whose work skills and work habits do not live up to our
expectations.  But money does matter.  It gives workers the security they
need.  Then and only then can they take the next step and improve their
lives.

I urge you to adopt the living wage for all Harvard employees, including
contract employees, and to negotiate with the students who care deeply
about this matter.

Sincerely,

Janet Groat
Kennedy School of Government, MPA '96

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 11:12:18 EDT
Subject: letters sent to the administration

(sent immediately upon hearing of the sit-in)
The PSLM has, in good faith, negotiated for two years for a living wage
for
all Harvard employees and Harvard has not listened. Right now 40 students
are
courageously and peacefully protesting the utter lack of response to this
critical issue that has people's lives at stake. As a parent of one of
the
protesters and as a citizen, I demand that Harvard pay its employees, for
goodness sakes, a living wage. Do the right thing. This is not a power
play,
this is a matter of conscience. Negotiate with the students who are there
on
behalf of those whose voice is unheard. Make sure, also, that the
protesters
are safe and treated with respect and make the country proud of Harvard
as
the standard bearer for social responsibility.

Yours truly,
Judi Laing
(Sent 4/19)
REASONABLE PEOPLE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO NEGOTIATE. TO CLOSE THE DOOR IS TO
CLOSE THE MIND. IS THIS WHAT HARVARD IS ALL ABOUT? NEGOTIATE NOW OR LOSE
CREDIBILITY AS A REVERED INSTITUTION.

JUDI LAING

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 10:01:41 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Living Wage Campaign


President Neil Rudenstine
Provost Harvey Fineberg
Vice-President Sally Zeckhauser
Dean of Harvard College Harry Lewis
Associate Vice-President Polly Price

Dear colleagues and friends:

Recognizing that this must be a difficult time for you, and not wishing to
make it more so, I must nonetheless express my support for the principles
espoused by the organizers of the Living Wage Campaign.

With Harvard's endowment at an extraordinary high level, so much that we
can contemplate buying new land in Allston and spending half a billion
dollars of that endowment simply to plan for its use, I think we have very
little grounds for refusing to meet wage demands that would bring us UP
to the level of City of Cambridge employeees, or janitorial staff at
Brandeis and Tufts.  In this, as in many other areas about which I have
spoken up in the past (sabbatical policy, graduate student support,
faculty-student ratio), I continue to hope that Harvard will decide to
lead, rather than straggle behind.

It is not easy to meet people like Maria, a Portuguese speaker who keeps
Boylston sparkling and who supports two young children, every day, knowing
that her wages are not living wages.  I wonder whether she leaves them at
night in order to make ends meet.  It is embarassing to think it could be
said that she takes better care of us than we, who have much greater
means, do of her.

I will not join the sit-in or the rally today, but I hope that the
reasonableness of the living wage proposal can prevail.  It is very hard
to defend the status quo.

                                                Yours respectfully,

                                                Mary M. Gaylord
                                                Professor of Romance
                                                  Languages and
                                                  Literatures

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 14:40:28 -0000
Subject: Living Wage Campaign

Dear Neil, Harvey, Sally, Harry, and Polly,

As a resident of Cambridge, I write to inform you how much animosity your
stubborn refusal to grant such a small number of your staff a living wage is
generating in your local community.

As a resident of Boston, I write to inform you how arrogant and exploitative
you appear, one of if not the wealthiest university in the world, refusing
to shoulder the responsibility for providing a decent living to those
workers who live among us in this diffucult and expensive city.

As a citizen of the US, I write to tell you that I am committed to informing
those I know of my disappointment and indeed disgust with Harvard
University's public stance toward the issue of a living wage for its most
needy workers. How appalling that a university with such power would so
flagrantly use it against the very individuals who keep you shiny, clean,
and polished in the public eye.

Here's one member of the public whose image of you is irreparably tarnished.

Rebecca Marshall

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 10:24:57 EDT
Subject: *A LIVING WAGE FOR ALL*

Harvard University should pay *ALL* Harvard workers a living wage of at least
$10.25 plus benefits for all.  I insist that the administration negotiate
with the students sitting in.  For a university such as Harvard to do any
less would be a shame to their school name.  If you expect your students to
pay big bucks for a "top dollar education" then you should pay your staff
accordingly.

Students and university staff across the country are watching the events
unfolding at Harvard.  Don't doubt that we know how the administration would
rather run and hide then speak face to face with students and staff.  Tisk,
Tisk!  Is this yet another example of how you teach your students to act?

Educators and the staff of a university  teaches the next generation how to
act and live in society.  What kind of an example are you setting by being
one of the top universities in the country but not paying your workers a rate
that they can live on??  Maybe the administrations pay should be the same as
the general staff then.  Lets see how what YOU would do then.

In solidarity with the students and staff of Harvard Living Wage,
    Ashley Simpson
    Georgia State University
    Atlanta, Georgia

United Students Against Sweatshops - founding member
Association of Flight Attendents, AFL-CIO - organizer

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 10:25:38 -0400
Subject: RE: SITTING IN FOR A LIVING WAGE!

Let today be the day that you negotiate with students and pay Harvard
workers a living wage. You provide your students with one of the most
prestigious educational opportunities in the world.  Make public your
commitment to provide a decent living for those that make this possible for
you and your students.  There should be no reason for you to ignore justice
any longer.

Liora Brosbe
Goucher College
Member of GROWL -Goucher Rights of Workers League

> Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2001 12:46 PM
> Subject: A letter for Neil Rudenstine
>
>
> Dear President Rudenstine,
>
> I was recently saddened and disgusted to learn that
> Harvard University still has not adopted a Living Wage
> policy for all of its workers, including subcontracted
> and part-time employees. I understand that students have
> spent years passionately and tirelessly trying to
> convince Harvard to do the right thing, and to pay all
> employees a living wage with sustainable benefits.
>
> I ask you to reflect for a moment. You are in a position
> of considerable prestige and power. Would you know how to
> budget your household on the wages paid to a Harvard
> subcontracted janitor? Where would you begin? What
> measures would you have to take to economise? Consider
> for a moment? Would you be able to send your children to
> the same schools? Or frequent the same restaurants? But
> consider further: suppose you had neither savings nor
> health insurance? What would you do when your son or
> daughter or spouse becomes ill? What if you couldn't make
> payments on your home? What if you had to work two jobs
> simply to make ends meet, and had no time for family
> whatsoever? Suppose you went to work every day with no
> job security. No possibility of saving or planning for
> the future. And suppose you came home each day exhausted,
> and not to a spacious home in Newton or Brookline or
> Concord or Lexington or Back Bay, but to a tenement or
> project in East Cambridge or Charlestown or Roxbury. And
> suppose when you did get home, your children were already
> asleep, having eaten and put themselves to bed, all by
> themselves.
>
> This is the gross injustice you do to hundreds of
> workers, every single time you smugly, callously, or
> fearfully endorse the current policy, cloaking your own
> violence with arithmetical calculations demonstrating the
> impossible costs of living wages and benefits. As
> less-well-endowed university after less-well-endowed
> university adopts living wage policies, one must ask,
> impossible costs for whom? For the university? Or for the
> workers who face misery as a result of institutional
> greed and complacency? Who are you kidding? And how
> shameful it will be when I receive another pro forma
> reply justifying the despicable status quo!
>
> I have recently completed a British Marshall Scholarship
> in London. Shortly after I arrived in London, three years
> ago, I learned of the student movement for a living wage.
> I was shocked by the fact that people who work everyday
> at the world's wealthiest institution of higher learning
> should go without basic benefits. I was even more shocked
> by Harvard's crass  and ridiculous response, at the time,
> that it bears no responsibility for employees hired
> through subcontractors. This is the same argument that
> Nike makes regarding its 12-year-old employees  in
> Jakarta sweatshops. The Nike argument has long been the
> stuff of ridicule, and earned the company a major
> international boycott.
>
> Harvard deserves much the same treatment. Three years
> ago, I pledged not to donate a penny to Harvard until it
> provides a living wage for all employees. I'll take this
> opportunity to renew my pledge, and to assure you that
> until Harvard changes its policy, I will do all in my
> power to publicise the University's wanton greed and
> myopic aristocratic insensitivity. I will spread the word
> relentlessly, among my classmates and my community at
> large.
>
> I urge you to do all in your power to change the
> University's disgraceful and mean-spirited policy.
>
> Yours,
>
>
> Joshua Oppenheimer, '97

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 09:46:23 +0000
Subject: living wage campaign support

Dr. Rudenstine,

I support the Living Wage Campaign at Harvard, as I do here at the
University of Tennessee. It's not becoming for a university like Harvard
to nickel-and-dime its hardest working and lowest paid employees.

Michaael Kaplan GSD '67
Professor of ARchitecture, Emeritus
University of Tennessee / Knoxville

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 13:09:45 -0000

Dear President Rudenstine et al:
†
As a Harvard-Radcliffe alumna of 1970, I urge you to support the living
wage campaign for all Harvard employees: to raise all salaries to $10.25
per hour consistent with the policy of the Cambridge City Council,
including access to benefits.
†
Please negotiate in good faith with the peaceful sit-in demonstrators.
†
I learned about this campaign from my son, an active member of the
Swarthmore College living wage campaign. I am extraordinarily proud of
him and all the campaigners. Harvard is doing something right after all,
if it is raising a concerned and activist generation.
†
If this concern is honorably addressed, I will consider increasing my
contribution to my alma mater.
†
Sincerely,
†
Linda Marsella H-R'70

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 03:16:52 -0400
Subject: Support for Harvard Living Wage Campaign

††††††† As a graduate of the Harvard Law School (class of 1993), I amazes
me how at an institution such as Harvard Universary, which purports to
educate and develop the future leaders of America, an issue such as the
living wage continues to be unsolved.† Within the walls of Harvard,
whether at the undergraduate or the graduate level, the message that each
of us is being prepared to tackle the challenges and ills of society is
drilled home each day yet the very people which struggle to maintain the
university are left to scrap by an existence which places them below the
poverty line.† As an alumnus of Harvard, I am ashamed that Harvard
administrators have resisted bringing this issue to closure and setting
an example which other institutions should follow.† Given the tutition
levels which are being charged, this objective should not be a major
hinderence to the continued profitability and longevity of Harvard.

††††††† Best regards,

††††††† Dino T. Barajas


Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 00:18:51 -0400
Subject: The BSA Supports The Living Wage Campaign


Members of the Harvard Administration,

The Black Students Association supports the positive and peaceful efforts of
the Living Wage Campaign to bring about needed change within our community.
We respect the efforts of our fellow classmates whenever they engage in
activism.  It is our hope that the Administration will treat them with this
same respect and work with them to bring change to the Harvard community.
Furthermore, members of the Black community here at Harvard believe that the
University has an obligation to be a leader not just in the academic arena,
but also in the area of worker and family benefits.

In the BSA^“s efforts to combat Harvey C. Mansfield^“s statements that linked
grade inflation at Harvard to the influx of black students, I had the
opportunity to work closely with the members of the administration.  I was
able to sit down and talk to several of the people that the Living Wage
Campaign is currently seeking to negotiate with.  In speaking to Dean Lewis
and President Rudenstine, I found you^◊the ^”higher-ups^‘^◊to be far more
sensitive to the issues and concerns of the BSA^“s membership than was once
rumored.  You proved to be extremely receptive and attentive to what members
of the Black community had to say.  Why is it that the Living Wage Campaign
does not have this same opportunity that members of the BSA had?  Students
on this campus have long felt that the administrative members of this
community sit in an ivory tower.  However, just two months ago, you proved
to the BSA that your doors have always been open to students, and will
continue to remain as such.  Here is your chance to prove it to the Harvard
community at large.

You are all men and women of integrity, honor, and sound judgment.  In your
hearts, I believe you know that these workers deserve what the student
protestors are asking for on their behalf.  Members of the Black community
at Harvard and I urge the University to forget about the economics and
consider the sheer humanity behind what is being asked.  When you sit down
and think about the numerous lives you will help change, I have no doubt
that this matter will be resolved in a manner such that all parties will
benefit.


Best,

Brandon Gayle
President
Harvard Black Students Association

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 23:07:44 -0400
Subject: living wage standoff

Dear President Rudensitne:
†
As a Massachusetts native, an admirer of Harvard University, and an
active member of the labor movement, I write to urge you insist that all
direct and outsourced Harvard employees be paid a wage of at least
$10.25/hr, the same wage level that is required by City of Cambridge.
†
As a former coordinator of the Northern Virginia Living Wage Coalition,
and a current organizer with HERE Local 27, Parking and Service Workers
Union in Washington, DC, I have heard first-hand testimony from dozens of
workers about how living wages have had a tremendously positive impact on
their lives.†
†
I urge you to respect the students and employees of your University, and
use your good office to require Harvard employees to be paid a living
wage.† Not only does such a rate of pay help make ends meet for families
of living wage earners, but it also sends a message of compassion and
fairness that I believe is part of the mission of universities such as
yours.†
†
In addition, I am impressed by the tactis that Harvard students have used
in their effort to resolve this matter.† Please respect their means of
protest and open a frank dialogue before taking steps to end this
stand-off.†
†
Yours truly,†
†
Alexander Zwerdling


Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 22:14:38 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: LIVING WAGE SUPPORT

We, the Bucknell Caucus for Economic Justice, Bucknell University,
strongly endorse the Harvard Living Wage Campaign, and support its current
action.  It should be embarrassing to Harvard to be among the richest
educational institutions in the world and yet not pay its workers enough
to live on, particularly when it is located in a city that has itself
chosen to enact a living wage.

Such a stance is ludicrously hypocritical given Harvard's ostensible
commitment to ethics and humanity.

In solidarity with the Living Wage Campaign there, we urge you to enact a
living wage now.

Sincerely,

The Bucknell Caucus for Economic Justice (BCEJ)
Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA

Sent: 4/19/2001 4:59:27 PM
Subject: Negotiate With Living Wage Protesters

Dear President Rudenstine ,
	I urge you to please negotiate in fair bargaining with the Living Wage 
Protesters.  Educational institutions are the hallmark and backbone of the 
ideology of the United States and set the tone for progressive landmarks of 
our society at large.
	It is so very important to show the world at large what our most 
cherished institutions stand for in values.  Please support the fair treatment 
of union workers and their struggles by negotiating in fairness and good faith 
during this conflict.

Thank you,
Astraea Kelly
Co President, Laney College Labor Studies Club
Laney College, Oakland, CA.
USAS member


Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 14:21:51 -0400
Subject: Re: food stamps and medicare

Dear Provost Fineberg,

Thank you for replying to my email.  With reference to the
recommendations of the faculty committee, your claims would be more
credible if you provided some numbers indicating how many workers on
campus have taken advantage of these programs.  Surely whichever
department in human resources administers these benefits programs can
easily come up with a figure.  According to the living wage campaign,
only NINETEEN workers have actually benefitted from the extension of
healthcare!  How many workers have enrolled in the language classes, and
what steps have been taken to notify workers of these classes?

While language classes do provide upward mobility, they are no
substitute for a living wage for workers who have to pay their rent and
feed their family this month.  I urge you to talk to some of the working
poor on this campus and ask them about their upward mobility -- ask them
how they and their families are managing to get by.  I would guess that
after hearing their stories, you would have a hard time looking them in
the eye and telling them that Harvard has decided they should continue
to live in poverty until they start to enjoy the upward mobility created
by the language classes Harvard is offering.

I assume you are kidding when you note that "only" 400 workers are paid
poverty wages.  Paying poverty wages is morally wrong, whether they are
paid to one single worker or 10,000 workers.  The committee must have
fundamentally misunderstood the demand of the living wage campaign if it
thought that campaign was demanding a living wage for all but the
poorest 400 workers on campus -- they are demanding a living wage for
ALL workers on campus.  Also, it is disingenuous for the administration
not to count outsourced workers, who were outsourced precisely because
Harvard wants to avoid paying a living wage!

The relevance of the collective bargaining issue is completely unclear
to me.  Surely the fact that a poverty wage was negotiated through
collective bargaining doesn't make it just.  Moreover, the reference to
collective bargaining is disingenuous and misleading.  I am sure you're
aware that the vast majority of workers who are paid poverty wages on
this campus are temporary workers or outsourced employees who are not
unionized.  If you were serious about the collective bargaining
objection, you would at least offer a living wage to all those workers
who are not members of a collective bargaining unit, such as the
temporary and outsourced workers.

All of these objections to the faculty report have been pointed out time
after time to the administration, which has yet to respond to them.

Sincerely,
Michael Mirarchi
HLS '01

Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 18:02:31 -0700
Subject: Living Wage Now!

I am writing in support of the students campaigning for a living wage for
Harvard's workers.  Institutions dedicated to academic and ethical
enlightenment must themselves adopt ethical practices.  It is a poor
reflection on the university that many of its workers do not earn a living
wage, and it is in your power to change this now!

(from Shani Ahronowitz)
Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 19:48:18 -0400
Subject: Harvard Living Wage Campaign

Neil Rudenstine, President
Harvard University

Dear Neil Rudenstein,

As a member of the Swarthmore College Living Wage and Democracy Campaign and
a member of the staff, I can identify many common links between our campaign
at Swarthmore and the Harvard Living Wage Campaign.  These two institutions
have great prestige and have demonstrated excellence in education.  However,
both institutions are in great danger of losing credibility and their true
educational mission, for students, staff and faculty have learned the
lessons of democracy well, and they will no longer tolerate systems that do
not allow for full decision-making processes for their community members.
The theories that you teach on democracy must now be implemented rather than
remaining in the dormancy of scholarly texts and articles.

You have a unique opportunity to find your place in history by rejecting
outdated and oppressive policies that prevent our fellow workers from
sustaining themselves and their families. Harvard can move toward
humanitarian goals of full participatory democracy within your institution
and the right to receive a wage that will sustain those who live and work in
your community.

Whether you pass into history as just another in a line of men who upheld
the status quo that dehumanizes the work that your staff contributes to
Harvard or whether you seize this historic opportunity to be remembered in
the hearts and and minds of students, faculty and staff, will be your
decision now.  College communities across the nation will be watching
Harvard to see whether the educational missions of your school hold true and
whether Harvard moves toward democratic and humanitarian reforms.

Democracy and consensus decision making will come and will pervade every
aspect of daily life, and we will no longer need sit ins because all
community members will be part of the process. Perhaps it will be Harvard
University that will be a leader in this crusade or maybe Swarthmore
College.  Change will come.

Sincerely,
Kae Kalwaic


Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 14:14:42 -0500
Subject: RE: 4/19/01  UPDATE ON HARVARD LIVING WAGE SIT-IN

As a parent of one of your participants, I sent the following e-mail to
five administrators at: beverly_sullivan, harvey_fineberg, saaly_zeckhauser,
lewis, polly_price -- all at harvard.edu:
I hope they get more letters  from others.


As a concerned parent, concerned about the safety of my child at Harvard,
and favoring the student demonstartor's point of view on the Living Wage,
I am writing this letter to you urging your favorable and kind consideration
of the students' request.

I fully understand the pressures of budgets and other monetary issues and
their impact on other slary grades and ranges, etc. that you have to deal
with, and that the Living wage request can not be dealt in isolation by
itself.

Even then, I strongly urge your taking a second look at this issue inspite
of the Committee's recommendationm last year.

There  id a certain class of people that are trully struggling to provide
basic necessatiites of life -- medical care, roof over their head, food
and transportation -- inspite of the last 8 years of economic boom.

I urge your support -- to whatever extent you can to give this class of
population an hourly raise that would help them afford some of the life's
necessasities for themshelves and their family.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely and with Regards,

P. K. Misra, Ph.D.
St. Louis, MO 63122

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 09:00:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Living Wage

Although I certainly applaud efforts that increase employees' ultimate mobility
in the labor market, a current employer (when able) still has the obligation to
provide a living wage to its employees in the jobs that they currently work.
In view of the fact that, as you point out, only about 400 employees fit into
the category of receiving below a living wage, what possible excuse can Harvard
have for not paying them at this higher minimum?  The City of Cambridge, an
employer with far less resources, has made the pledge and the effort to
guarantee a living wage minimum.  Harvard can and should do no less. To put
this off onto the collective bargaining process means that low paid workers are
left behind by efforts to improve the status of the majority of workers who
earn more.  In fact, given Harvard's historical and nasty opposition to
organizing efforts of its workers, this sounds more like a cynical attempt to
blame the collective bargaining process and create divisions among organized
workers.  Further, the notion that Harvard has relied on a high-minded faculty
committee, whose members are all paid considerably more than these low paid
workers, to barter away take home pay in favor of future uncertain life
improvements is simply reprehensible.   I certainly applaud both the training
and the expansion of health insurance availability, but it is simply not
enough. And, as a faculty member myself, I would certainly not trust my
colleagues to understand and represent the most basic needs of our
non-professional workers (who, I must say, are grossly underpaid, but at least
we have the excuse of being on the state payroll of one of the poorest states
in the country, in contrast to Harvard's endowment which dwarfs the assets of
most countries).

As a great university, be a model employer.  Set an example for these young
future leaders of the business and political worlds.  Show them that regulatory
intervention is not essential to achieve adequate working conditions when an
employer has the resources.  Demonstrate good will.

I realize that you are now in the position of not wanting to capitulate to
these students.  As  a member of the class of 1969, I can certainly remember
this particular conundrum, and I have more sympathy for it now than I did then.
But you are master negotiators and as a master a negotiating myself I know that
there is always a way to accomplish something without the appearance of
capitulation.  You have smart people.  Figure it out.  Pay these workers a
living wage and move on.

Emily Spieler '69

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 09:03:41 -0400
Subject: Living Wage Campaign

Dear Neil, Sally, Harry, and Polly,

It is unthinkable that Harvard should have allowed workers'
conditions to get to this point, and it is completely understandable
that, at last, after years of being patient and making eminently
reasonable requests to Harvard, the workers have occupied
Massachusetts Hall.

As I am sure you know from the events of spring '69, it is essential
that Harvard make absolutely certain that the people occupying the
building and demonstrating outside the building be treated in
completely nonviolent ways, and it is Harvard's responsibility to
make sure that everyone, both Harvard people and outside people, does
this.

Hopefully, Harvard has learned that, just as the protestors of '69
had legitimate and humane concerns and, ultimately, demands, so, too,
do the Living Wage people, and it is in Harvard's interests as well,
of course, as in the interests of sheer respect for the humanity of
the workers, to respect and accede to their demands and to do so
rapidly. It would do wonders for the atmosphere at Harvard, not to
mention for the values that the public associates with Harvard.

I suspect that women students and faculty at Harvard will be next.
That is what ought to happen, given how they are treated.

PLEASE DO NOT USE ANY TIME OR ENERGY IN REPLYING TO THIS MESSAGE,
ESPECIALLY NOT WITH ATTEMPTS AT JUSTIFICATION OF WHAT HARVARD HAS
DONE SO FAR IN REGARD TO THIS MATTER. INSTEAD, PLEASE USE YOUR TIME
AND ENERGIES TO LISTEN RESPECTFULLY TO THE PROTESTORS' DEMANDS, AND
THEN MEET THEM.

Sincerely,

Paula J. Caplan '69

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 13:02:54 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Living wage sit-in

Dear Members of the Harvard Administration:

     I am distressed to learn that the issue of a living wage for Harvard
University workers has yet to be settled.  For a University of Harvard's
stature and wealth, it is unseemly (to say the least) to be pitted against
ordinary workers seeking a modest standard of living.  I urge you to
negotiate with the students involved in the sit-in, and to work with
all parties toward a speedy resolution of the living wage impasse -- one
in which Harvard will be recognized as having a heart as well as a brain.

                        Sincerely,  Thomas E. Weisskopf (Harvard '61)
			             Professor of Economics 
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
				


> >>Subject: MEET WITH THE STUDENTS from concerned parents and alumni &
> response to Dr. Fineberg
> >>
> >>Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 10:27:06 -0400 (EDT)
> >>Subject: MEET WITH THE STUDENTS from concerned parents & alumni
> >>
> >>Dear Dr. Fineberg,
> >>Thank you for you reply.  We are pleased that the students' safety and
> >>welfare are a high priority with you as well.  They are an ethical,
> >>reasonable group of very moral individuals pursuing justice in a form that
> >>has an established and for many of us, a respected history in our society.
> >>We trust this will continue to be reflected in Harvard's approach to them.
> >>In this spirit, we urge you to meet with the students and create an
> >>opportunity for an open airing and discussion in the community regarding
> >>the issues they are raising.  We appreciate your attaching the University
> >>response, but with all due respect, it does not address issues raised in
> >>the Living Wage campaign.  For instance, there appears to be clear
> >>evidence the least powerful, disenfranchised workers at Harvard have been
> >>renedered even less powerful by the elimination of union jobs that are
> >>replaced with subcontracted individuals who have no bargaining power.
> >>This would appear to make Harvard's claims that they can't give a Living
> >>wage outside the union bargaining process disingenuous at the least.
> >>Union busting is an ugly term for many of us.  Given that these charges
> >>seem credible from the facts available, Harvard should address these.
> >>Secondly, and most importantly, there is a moral question that is not only
> >>unaddressed in the Harvard response but in fact is made clearer.  How are
> >>we to understand the moral position of dismissing the the welfare of 400
> >>people because it is only 400 out of 13,000?  How are we to understand the
> >>moral position of choosing to ignore the plight of 400 Individuals and
> >>their families when the monetary cost and consequences are negligible yet
> >>the benefits are great to these people and the moral leadership shown by
> >>Harvard a priceless gift to its community and the world?   Many of us
> >>give a higher percentage
> >>of our incomes to charity than the percentage of cost to Harvard would be
> >>in providing Living Wages to these 400.  How are we to understand the
> >>failure of Harvard to demonstrate Moral Leadership by doing the right
> >>thing for these workers?  And how are we to understand the moral position
> >>of failing to address the moral questions with these students now?
> >>Is the answer to all these questions really the same: there is no
> >>defensible moral position, just the exercise of the perogatives of
> >>power bereft of compassion and moral vision?
> >>
> >>It is a refusal to accept that this answer and what it says about how a
> >>just society should be run
> >>that has taken these students into Mass Hall, students who are willing to
> >>risk the extraordinary personal benefits of power already bestowed upon
> >>them by being admitted to Harvard.  And it is our refusal as well to
> >>accept this that leads us to give our whole hearted support to these
> >>students and their cause.

> >>Refusal to engage these students and the issues just degrades Harvard's
> >>claim to be a moral leader for our children and nation.
> >>Sincerely,
> >>James W. Plunkett, Ph.D. '71
> >>Marcia W. Plunkett, Ph.D. '71


Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 12:02:38 -0400
Subject: Living wage


Hi Harry,

        Just a little more, in explanation:

        I have worked my whole professional life taking care of children
and families in poverty, and I know the problems they face, and I face
helping them. It has always been distressing that despite having jobs, many of
these families struggle desparately, they cannot afford a decent apartment, so
their kids suffer asthma and lead poisoning. They cannot afford health 
insurance, so they submit to the indignities of "free care", which they don't 
get, and never is. They have to trade off heat payments for food in the winter,
so the kids go hungry or cold. They fight with landlords who ignore
their legal obligations or try to evict whole families, forcing them
into shelters. Their jobs do not offer day care, and they cannot afford
to pay for it, so the children sit alone in front of TVs all day long or
squat at some neighbor's apartment while their parents work.

        I have worked at UniLu and met people there with jobs but no homes or
safety nets beyond what we offer them each night. I work with custodians,
dining hall workers and security officers here in Adams House who cannot make 
ends meet working several jobs, and whose children rarely see them and hardly 
see what we would consider family benefits from all that work.

        This is not a problem special to Harvard, but it is Harvard's problem.
I am very proud of Harvard in most ways, and know that it did make an effort 
last year to consider some workers' issues. The proposals represented a
reasonable beginning, but that is all. I don't know how many have been 
instituted, and they were not part of a 5 year master plan to be the best, the 
way we are in almost all other spheres.

I am told by my staff in Adams House that BU (in whose medical and
public health schools I work) is perceived as doing a better job on the
whole for its workers than Harvard does, though I doubt by much, if any.
But my allegiance is to Harvard - I want US to be a leader in
worker/family benefits, to lead the country or the world in that way, as
it so clearly does in others. The businesses I admire are those who
offer the best products, the best health care and day care and education
for their workers, not those who make the most money off the backs of
workers paid the least amount possible per hour, etc..

        So, as artificial as $10.25 an hour is, it is a benchmark that our
workers and students aspire to. At this moment, it has significance far
above and beyond its real value. You and I may know that there are more
important benefits that our staff should get, and we should set a long
term timeline to provide those as well.

        Just as the Corporation has come to see that working with Boston and
Cambridge to build afterschool programs and improve local communities is
cost-effective, or at least valuable, in the long run, I would suggest
that someone immediately start work convincing them that Harvard would
truely benefit itself and its image by spending some of its hard-earned
money on its workers. There is no promise in all this that our staff and
their familes will live comfortably, many of them won't, but at least we
and others can feel that our great institution really put its massive
intellect, muscle and resource behind an effort to be the best in this
way, too.

        Sean

        Adams House

>Subject: Students for a Living Wage Campaign For Living Wages
>Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 20:56:02 -0000
>
>Harvard should be ashamed of itself.  As an alumni (College, 1978)who
>remembers the Neanderthal attitude of the Institution towards the South
>Africa investment issues of my rabbit food days, I would be shocked if the
>institution had progressed to the point of enlightened self-interest.
>However, I call on you as possibly enlightened individuals to give this
>matter yout earnest reconsideration.  As an aid in your thinking, I suggest
>surveying the apartment ads to see what studio apartments cost in the area,
>tack on conservative estimates for utilities and (presumably public)
>transportation, and subtract this number from the after-tax wages you are
>currently paying your lowest-paid employees.
>Does the result suggest a living wage?

(from Peter Leighton)

>Subject: part1
>Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 12:38:58 -0400
>
>Dear Mr.Fineberg:
>    Thank you for your carefully crafted response this morning.  However,
>if you read "Low-Wage Labor at Harvard" below, you will find that the
>number of workers affected far exceeds 400.  Why such ignorance, or is it
>willful falsification?  What is Harvard's mission as a nonprofit
>educational institution?
>Andree Pages '77
>  http://www.hcs.harvard.edu/~pslm/livingwage/part1.html

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 11:21:39 -0700
Subject: Living Wage Campaign

My daughter, who is currently a student, let me know about the Harvard
Living Wage campaign, and I thought as both an alumnus ('75) and parent
of a current student, I'd let you know that I support the Living Wage
campaign.

I have a living wage policy in place at my own company.  It seems quite
out of place that Harvard, which should be a leader on such issues, does
not.

The suggested minimum wage, $10.25/hour, is marginal.  While I haven't
looked into the details of the financial impact on the university, it
seems that the moral imperative is there, and the likelihood of this
being a serious financial burden is slight.  I urge you to change your
position on this issue.

--


Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 14:46:40 -0400
Subject: students sitting in for a living wage

Neil Rudenstine, President
Harvey Fineberg, Provost
Sally Zeckhauser, VP for Administration
Harry Lewis, Dean of Harvard College
Polly Price, Associate VP for Human Resources


Dear Colleagues,

I am writing in support of the student sit-in demanding a living wage for
all Harvard workers. I hope that you will appreciate the students'
engagement for social justice and find a positive way to respond to their
request. It is hard to understand why Harvard University is not able to pay
the same living wage as the City of Cambridge.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Elisabeth SchŁssler Fiorenza
Krister Stendahl Professor of
Scripture and Interpretation
Harvard University
The Divinity School
45 Francis Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 09:43:22 -0700
Subject: Living Wage Protests

I am writing as a recent alumnae to voice my complete and utter disgust with
the attitude of the University towards its workers. It is amazing to me that
a university with Harvard's funds refuses to spend even a small percentage
of them on more benefits and pay for its workers.

I remember growing up and hearing my parents' stories of their time at
Harvard -- my father was an undergraduate there and then a law school
graduate. During his years in law school, my mother worked in the offices at
Harvard. She had nothing good to say about the way the employees were
treated. The stories she told were of a university that used its power to
fight unionization among its workers. Even as a small child I knew that it
was wrong to bully just because you were bigger. That is a childhood lesson
that Harvard should remember.

It is unconscionable that an institution with Harvard's position in the
world should not be a leader in moral matters as well. What does it teach
undergraduates to protest a living wage? What does it teach undergraduates
when Harvard buys property throughout Boston in a secretive manner? What
does it teach undergraduates when they learn that Harvard fought
unionization of its workers?

What it teaches them is that money and power should be hoarded and protected
from the greedy grasp of people who are less fortunate. It teaches them that
the people who support the physical plant -- the carpenters, the janitors,
the dining hall staff -- are no more than servants. It teaches them that
they have no responsibility towards the world around them, that they can sit
in their Ivy halls and separate themselves. It encourages isolationism by
the wealthy and well-educated, just what the world DOESN'T need. It runs
itself only one step above a plantation.

That attitude towards the rest of the world, which I observed in many small
and large ways during my time at Harvard, is one of the reasons that I will
never donate money to Harvard. I graduated from Phillips Exeter, an equally
elite institution, but one with a conscience. I have donated to Exeter every
year since my graduation. Harvard has not shown itself worthy of my
contributions. I would also never recommend Harvard to any prospective
student. I realize that does not seem like a big deal to a school that
annually turns away thousands, but where you will be as more and more of the
world realizes what a morally corrupt institution Harvard is?

During my time here at Charles Schwab, I have seen first-hand the opposite
type of corporation -- one that uses its considerable funds to provide for
its workers and to give back to the community. Even during this downturn in
the economy, Schwab shows nothing but consideration and respect for its
employees and the world around it. Consequently, Schwab receives the loyalty
and hard work that it depends on for its success. Do you truly think that
Harvard can survive and flourish by diminishing the people it depends on?
What an ignorant and short-sighted approach to life that is.

I urge you to reconsider the living wage campaign's requests, and to truly
be a leader in every sense of the word. Until Harvard can find a moral
center for itself, it will be nothing more than a backward thinking
corporate entity, and it will not deserve the responsibility of forming
young minds.

Sincerely,
Ingrid Gaines

************************
Ingrid Gaines
Project Analyst
Charles Schwab & Co.

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 11:39:43 -0400
Subject: Please implement living wage

Just a quick note from a member of Harvard to urge you to implement a
living wage. For the relatively modest resources it would take this
would be a very important gesture. It would show that Harvard is a
moral leader and it would show  respect to the larger Cambridge
community.

Thank you,
Phineas Baxandall
--


---------------------
Phineas Baxandall
PBaxand@fas.harvard.edu
Lecturer at Harvard University Committee on Degrees in Social Studies

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 08:28:29 -0700
Subject: Do The Right Thing

My name is Rich Pizor, a fellow student of Susan Misra during her undergrad
days at Lewis & Clark. We still keep in touch, and she has been telling me
ongoing of her efforts with this campaign and her constant sense of
frustration at your intractable position.

The concept of a living wage is vital. As I write this, I have just managed
to get my phone turned back on, and have 24 hours to try and find yet
another friend who will loan me money so my car (necessary for any sort of
employment or mobility here in Silicon Valley) does not get repossessed. My
salary comes to the equivalent of $17 an hour with minor health benefits (my
last visit to the hospital wasn't accepted by the HMO, and more than a year
later I'm still paying it off) and in Silicon Valley that doesn't even cover
the standard of living.

How can someone make $35,000 a year and still live check to check, praying
that there are no disasters? The screwy economics of our time mean that a
family of two needs to earn at least $70,000 annually to survive here.

I don't pretend even for a moment to know the economic conditions of
Cambridge, nor do I assume they are as dire as here in San Francisco. That
said, scratching out an existence here for the past year and a half has made
me amazingly sympathetic to the plight of those who do not receive enough
funds to live and work in their own communities.

I know Susan well, and I know she would not have launched this campaign
without a thorough understanding of the issues involved. She has my faith
and support in this matter. From the sound of it, the five of you seem to
lack that -- from *any* quarter.

Sincerely,

Rich Pizor
Lewis & Clark '97

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 08:07:44 -0700
Subject: Living Wage Sit-In

Dear Dr. Fineberg,

†† I am writing in support of your 40 students peacefully demonstrating
for a cause that is so absolutely critically it demands your immediate
attention. As an institute that so many in the United States look to as
an emblem of social enlightenment and progressive thought, it is hard to
understand how the implementation of a living wage is not already a
reality at Harvard. It deeply saddens me that the faculty and
administration of your university have failed to address this pressing
issue, yet I am concurrently proud, thrilled and hopeful that the
students of Harvard University still carry the flame of justice and
equality. Your institute has a power to not only rebel against a terrible
economic tyranny, but a chance to inspire and lead so many minds in the
direction of true social harmony. I understand Harvard University is a
business, but I always believed it was much, much more. I ask that you
please address the issue of a Living Wage with both students and
employees immediately, that you unconditionally meet with the student
protesters, and that, above all, you keep alive somewhere in this nation,
a place where the greatest dreams of men and women may be realised.

†Thank you.

Sincerely,
† Khaled Alquaddoomi
† Baton Rouge, Louisiana†††††††

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 10:13:20 -0400
Subject: Living Wage

Dear President Rudenstine,

        My daughter who completed her studies at the University in January
and at the present time is traveling in Spain e-mailed me the information
about the Living Wage Campaign that is taking place at Harvard.  My daughter
has spoken of this campaign several times over the past several years and
has voiced her outrage over the wages being paid to the support personnel at
the University.

        I was a student at Cornell University during the late sixties and
my husband was a law student at Columbia University during the same period.
We both were disgusted with the tactics used by the radical students and
always felt that both Cornell and Columbia were wrong in giving in to the
demands of rioting students.  I am taking the time to tell you this because
I want you to understand where we are coming from.

        However, we both agree that an institution as wealthy as Harvard
should be ashamed that they are paying such subsistence wages.  I teach at a
community college in Paterson, New Jersey (we can only dream about Harvard's
resources) and even we pay our support personnel at least $10 per hour and
provide them with medical benefits.  The Harvard students have  been
peacefully trying to effect change in Haravard's wage policies but to no
avail.  You are giving them no choice but to express their outrage and
frustrations by "sitting in" and by using  other inflamatory tactics.

        The highest form of charity is to provide people with the skills and
jobs to earn a living.  I urge you to examine your wage policies and make
the  necessary changes so that support personnel can live a respectable
life. An institution like Harvard that prides itself on being a leader in so
many diffferent areas should make a point in being a leader in the way it
pays and treats its support personnel.

        Thank you for your time in reading this e-mail.

Sincerely,
Merille Ruben Siegel

Date: Thu, 19 Apr 2001 03:53:09 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: In support of a living wage


Dear President Rudenstine:

I am writing as an alumnus to demand that Harvard implement
a living wage of $10.25/hr (adjusted annually for
inflation), plus benefits, for everyone working for the
university, whether directly employed, hired as casual
labor, or subcontracted to outside firms.  It does not
matter if the number of those receiving less than $10.25/hr
is currently 400 or 1,000 - no one should be earning less
than this basic amount.

I have known about and followed the living wage campaign
since its inception in 1999, and deeply admire its courage,
patience, willingness to negotiate, and, above all, its
sense of moral and political right.  For it is a right -
and it is right - that all workers receive a wage that will
allow them to live decently, and that they be provided with
an adequate set of benefits.  That Harvard has not already
undertaken these policies is an outrage that can neither be
forgotten nor ignored.

It is necessary that the university enter negotiations with
PSLM - not about whether a living wage is needed, but about
how it is to be implemented and exactly what form it will
take.

For my part, I pledge to do whatever I can to help PSLM and
the living wage campaign.  Right now, this means, of
course, that I will refuse to donate any money to Harvard
until a living wage - agreed to by members of PSLM, unions,
workers, and faculty - is implemented.  But it also means
that I will do everything I can to ensure that other
alumni/-ae withhold their donations as well.

A living wage must be paid to all workers; the students
sitting in for this demand must be given immunity.


Dan Morgan '99

Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 21:25:30 -0400
Subject: Living Wage

I write to you as a 1969 graduate of Harvard-Radcliffe College and a law professor who specializes in labor and employment law. I am distressed that Harvard's intransigence on the issue of a living wage for Harvard employees has resulted in the current demonstration. The living wage campaign has set a reasonable and laudable goal. The costs of providing a living wage to employees is well within Harvard's financial capabilities. This is not a situation in which a demand is being made that is against the short or the long term interests of Harvard as an institution or the Harvard endowment. It is unjust, embarassing, and indefensible that employees are earning less than $10.25 an hour.

Please count me among these students' supporters. And further: I will not donate money to Harvard nor will I support others who do until the injustice of Harvard's wage policies are corrected.

Sincerely,

Emily A. Spieler '69

-----------------------------------------
Emily A. Spieler
Professor of Law
West Virginia University College of Law


Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 13:55:24 EDT
Subject: Living wage

It is embarrassing to have to write you to ask that you ascede to the
demands of your students and pay all Harvard employees a living wage of $10.25
plus adequate family benefits.

Can you who earn many times that amount honestly imagine trying to live
on less within commuting distance of the university.

Do the right thing. Do it boldly. Do it cleanly. Be grown up -- admit you
were wrong. Earn a national reputation for running a university not as a
greedy corporation but as a place that puts the values it supposedly
nurtures in its students into practice. As any parent knows, it's not what you
say but what you do.

Remembering my Cambridge days fondly,

Andy Levin
Harvard Law School 1994


Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 15:03:44 -0400 Subject: Living Wage Now! Dear President Rudenstine, Provost Fineberg, Ms. Zeckhauser, Mr. Lewis, and Ms. Price, I'm writing to express my support to the Progressive Student Labor Movement's ongoing Living Wage Campaign and current sit in. I'm writing to express my support for all workers at Harvard. The Living Wage Campaign has gone to great, exhaustive lengths to call your attention to the issue of poorly compensated Harvard employees and to demand that you pay at least $10.25 an hour to each of them. Your response: the Ad Hoc Committee on Employment Policies. Only individuals making well over $50,000 a year could possibly think this committee's meager recommendations are enough! The Living Wage Campaign demands that all Harvard workers, whether directly employed or hired through outside firms, must be paid a living wage of at least $10.25 per hour, adjusted annually to inflation, and with basic health benefits. As a staff person, I join them in this demand and insist that you negotiate with the students sitting in. Sincerely, Therese Graner
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 16:05:33 -0400 Subject: Living Wage Dear Misters Fineberg and Reardon, I am writing to express my concern over Harvard's continued refusal to pay its workers a living wage, and to inform you that until Harvard implements a living wage policy, I will stop my alumni giving. The policy suggested by the Harvard Living Wage Campaign -- namely, $10.25/hr, to be adjusted annually for inflation, with basic health benefits -- should be adopted immediately. Until Harvard pays its workers a decent wage, it will receive no money from me. Sincerely, Jane Manners Harvard College '97
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 16:20:24 -0400 Subject: Living Wage Now Dear Harvard University Administrators: As a member of Harvard College Class of 1999, I am writing to express my support for the students and other activists who are conducting a sit-in for a campus living wage. I believe that the world's richest university can more than afford to pay its workers wages and benefits that allow them to live decently instead of in poverty. I ask that you begin negotiating with the protestors to set and implement a living wage for all Harvard University employees. The world is watching Harvard's actions, and Harvard has a choice--to be seen as a progressive leader on this issue, or as a backwards institution with no respect for its own students and employees. Thank you. Sincerely, Daniel Hennefeld Harvard College '99
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 16:30:08 -0500 Dear Administrators; I understand your dilema of budgets and the pressure for supporting Living Wage. But these students appear to have doen everything they could prior to this sit-in. They have no alternative but to do this protest in a calm and orderly manner. In these ever-increasing costs, certain group of people are being left out of the economic growth. These people are really struggling for some the very basic needs -- like healthcare, education, basic food for their kids, and a decent shelter. Please support the Living Wage -- to the maximum extent you can. Thank you. P. K. Misra, Ph.D. St. Louis, MO 63122
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 19:29:29 -0500 Subject: Support for Living Wage Dear President Rudenstine, Provost Fineberg, and Vice President Zeckhauser, I write again, as I have before, to urge Harvard to reconsider its recalcitrant attitude about the living wage issue. The university' has a sorry tradition of taking advantage of the disempowered in its operation of the Corporation. As a Harvard undergraduate, I worked with many of the kinds of people who would benefit enormously from a more enlightened attitude by the university toward its employees. It angers and disappoints me that Harvard persists in its poor treatment of its lower-echelon staff 35 years later. Many professors from the Business School could, and I hope have, told you that a hard-nosed approach to labor-management relations costs more in diminished productivity of demoralized staff than the "savings" in wage costs that seem to worry your accountants and money managers. This is a situation where civic leadership, moral values, and the bottom line are not in conflict. Even if there is some additional cost in paying a living wage to all, however, it would be a worthier investment than further padding of the endowment. Prof. Sanford E. Gaines University of Houston Law Center