GUARDS UNION SETTLES CONTRACT WITH HARVARD
JANITORS UNION SETTLES CONTRACT WITH HARVARD Under the new contract, directly-hired janitors will now receive at least $11.35 per hour and will be paid no less than $13.50 per hour three and a half years from now. Harvard custodians are currently paid as little as $9.75 per hour.
SUMMERS ADOPTS PARITY AND ONE-TIME WAGE BOOST President Larry Summers announced on January 31 that he would adopt several of the Harvard Committee on Employment and Contracting Policy's recommendations, including a one time wage increase to between $10.83 and $11.30 per hour, wage parity between directly-hired and outsourced workers, and quality of work life changes. While these are tremendous improvements to Harvard's miserable treatment of its workers, they do not adequately address the problem of poverty at Harvard. Glaringly absent from Summers' stated policy changes are an annually-adjusted living wage, the HCECP's recommended "fair bargaining clause," which would require Harvard to adjust wages for cost of living changes in case it refused to negotiate a contract with campus unions), reduced copayments to make benefits more affordable, and meaningful protection of workers' rights to organize through card-check neutrality agreements.
THE REPORT IS OUT On December 19, 2001 the Harvard Committee on Employment and Contracting Policies (HCECP) released their recommendations on how to improve the situation of low-wage workers to President Summers. While recommending a significant one-time wage increase, the committee did not go far enough: it failed to recommend a permanent living wage standard that reflects the cost of living. However, eight of the committee's nineteen members expressed a firm belief that Harvard should go beyond the majority's recommendations and implement a living wage floor.
THE KATZ COMMITTEE'S RECOMMENDATIONS will be given to President Summers on Wednesday, December 19. The committee has the choice either to present a vision for a just university by recommending a principled and lasting living wage floor that will correct Harvard's moral failure by ending poverty on campus once and for all, or to short-change Harvard workers yet again by failing to ensure that no worker at Harvard ever receive wages that are too low to meet the basic costs of living.
It is uncertain which decision the committee will make. Wichever it is, will be prepared to respond -- either with celebration or with protest. If you plan to be in the Boston area on December 19 and are interested in participating in a living wage action, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for more updates and information about the report and our response.
WRITE TO THE COMMITTEE The Harvard Committee on Employment and Contracting Policies (HCECP) needs your input! Send an email sharing your views about a Living Wage at Harvard to email@example.com. Click here for points to emphasize and a sample letter.
LABOR AND THE WAR Elaine Bernard, the Executive Director of the Harvard Trade Union Program, will speak about the connection between the labor movement and the war on terrorism on Wednesday, December 12, at 7:30pm in Philips Brooks House, Harvard Yard. For more information, contact Erik at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUSTICE FOR JANITORS On Friday, November 30, hundreds of Harvard janitors joined hundreds of students, faculty, and community members in an unprecedented worker-called rally for better wages and benefits and a stronger union. In anticipation of their upcoming contract negotiations with the university, the janitors demonstrated their growing power to fight the indignity and unfairness of Harvard's poverty wages, and their continued support from the Harvard community. Thanks to all who helped make the rally an incredible success.
PUBLIC LIVING WAGE FORUM This Monday, October. 22, from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Kennedy School's ARCO Forum, the Harvard Committee on Employment and Contracting Policies (HCECP) will host a public forum to take input from the Harvard community on the need for a living wage. Be there to voice your opinion, and wear crimson if you support a living wage!
RALLY THIS FRIDAY Welcoming Larry Summers to a Just Community: Join us this friday at noon in Harvard Square, before President Summers' installation, to greet him with the expectation that he will meaningfully respect the broad consensus for a living wage at Harvard.
NEW COMMITTEES Due to its dramatic increase in size and scope following the sit-in, the living wage campaign has adopted a new committee structure. This makes it easier for people to get involved in the campaign without attending endless meetings.
PSLM PICKETS BOSTON PROPERTIES. Read the 6/29 Crimson article here.
SUCCESSFUL STUDENT-LABOR ACTION AT UC SAN DIEGO. Read the LA Times article here.
JUNE 15 IS JUSTICE FOR JANITORS DAY! SEIU Local 254 (representing Harvard janitors) will be leading a rally at Boston City Hall (Government Center T stop) at 3:15 pm. There will also be a one-day FAST FOR JUSTICE. The Justice for Janitors demands are: Full-time work, Better Wages, Family Health Insurance & Pension, Job Security, & Amnesty for all Immigrant Workers. For more information, visit justiceforjanitors.org. And see the movie Bread and Roses.
GRADUATING SENIORS SIGN STATEMENT. Read it here.
OVERSEAS RIPPLE EFFECT! A recent (5/30/01) Jerusalem Post article revealed that our sit-in has inspired the beginnings of student-labor activism in Israeli universities. Read all about it here.
HARVARD DINING HALL WORKERS NEGOTIATE NEW CONTRACT
HERE Local 26 ratified a new contract on 5/17/01. Read all about it
FACTS AND FALLACIES is a document released by the President on April 27th. It was published in the Harvard Gazette and mass emailed to the entire university. Read our detailed response . Note: Matt D. did an awesome job reformatting this! Check it out! You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download for free here.
DISCIPLINARY ACTION TAKEN AGAINST SIT-IN PARTICIPANTS. The undergraduate students who participated in the sit-in have been put on probation for three weeks (until June 4, 2001) by the Harvard College Administrative Board. The law school student participants were issued a formal reprimand. No action was taken against other graduate student participants.
VICTORY AT UCONN!. Students at the University of Connecticut won a living wage for their janitors after a three day sit-in. Find out more at www.freeuconn.org.
THE SIT-IN HAS ENDED. After 21 days, students left the building after reaching an agreement with the adminstration. Find out more here.
END OF SIT-IN UPDATE. Click here for our most recent statement (released 5/12/01).
CHRIS STURR'S speech on "What would Victory Be?"
TODAY AT 3 Students will be leaving Mass Hall at 3:00pm today in solida rity with students, faculty, alumni, community members and workers - ready to celebrate our victories and continue the campaign!
The details have been worked out with substantive gains for workers, a fair committee process (including workers, students, administrators, and faculty members!) for addressing the issue, and unparalleled student, faculty, labor, & community support.
Come hear the specifics at 3pm in front of Mass Hall! An e-mail will also be disseminated with our statement soon after that point.
Watch this webpage for upcoming announcements as events unfold.
WORKERS WORDS I just finished re-formatting all the "workers' words." These are stories about working at Harvard from dozens of workers PSLM has spoken with over the years. If you've never read them, do so now. Workers' Words
NEW YORK CITY A great group of alumni are forming a Living Wage New York group, to support the sit-in at Harvard. Find out about them here. Join their mailing list here. There current plan is an action everyday before work.
FACTS AND FALLACIES is a document released by the President on April 27th. It has been published in the Harvard Gazette and mass emailed to the entire university. Read our detailed response . I think the last point is the most important: even if the statement represented the whole truth, it still gives no reason not to implement a living wage.
MANY HARVARD CHAPLAINS have written an open letter to the Harvard community on the living wage campaign. If you ever wondered what the living wage campaign had to do with religious pluralism, read it here.
LETTER of SUPPORT from HERE local 6, employees of the Harvard Club in New York, here.
SUPPORT THE WORKERS CENTER The recently established Harvard Workers Center provides free legal advice to campus workers, and needs your support to get up and running this summer! Click here to find out how you can help!
THE HARVARD CRIMSON has put together all their coverage of the sit-in. Check it out here. Note: some news articles contain inaccurate information regarding size of crowds and as well as unconfirmed statements by participants in the sit-in.
OTHER SIT-INS If you've been following events at Penn State, read about the agreement that's been reached here
INSIDE STATEMENT The people on the inside have written up a statement, responding to President Rudenstine's proposals and remarks made to the students. Read it here.
4/30 GOOD NEWS FROM NORTHWESTERN A year and a half. Thousands of signatures, many rallies and protests.... and a 9 day camp-out-- NORTHWESTERN IS JOINING THE WRC! Three NSAS members met with our administration today and heard the news.
SENATOR TED KENNEDY couldn't be at the rally Monday (4/30), but he sent us a letter.
GOOD DISSENT Some officers of the Harvard Republican Club have written a letter to the Crimson, giving their views on a living wage and the sit-in. It gives an interesting perspective on the idea of a living wage, and is (I feel) a great example of people who "agree with a living wage, but don't agree with the sit-in" as opposed to people who "want to seem progressive but don't want to do anything."
4/29 UPDATE After an extremely positive meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, it seems that there might be progress. It is crucial during this time to continue pressuring the Harvard administration. Though we are hopeful, we have no guarantee that things will continue to move in a positive direction, and negotiations have still not begun. We political, labor, and academic support continues to grow, and we have appeared on CNN, ABC, and NBC over the past couple of days, giving us even more national attention.
PROF RICHARD HECK was scheduled to speak at a rally, but then there wasn't time. He has written up some reflections on the living wage camaign, read them here.
SONG LYRICS Lara Jirmanus has written some incredible alternative lyrics to the tune of "I will Survive." Read them here and prepare to laugh.
4/26 GOOD NEWS 100 dining hall workers from HERE Local 26 at the Business School had a contract that expired this week. Harvard had been planning to change the classification of these workers from "board-ops", who earn above a living wage, to "cash-ops", who earn less than a living wage. Thanks to the increased force of the living wage campaign during contract negotiations, Harvard backed down on the move to reclassification, and these 100 workers will continue to earn a living wage!
4/27 ONLINE POLL The Crimson in conducting an online poll about the sit-in. Check it out at The Crimson, in the right hand margin.
4/26 WE WELCOME Al Cho (who will be updating endorsements) and web monkey Neil Sinhababu (who will be posting emails) to the web team.
4/26 HUNDREDS OF FACULTY have signed a letter of supp ort for the campaign, demanding that the administration negotiate with the students sitting in. Their letter is printed i n today's issue of The Crimson.
INTERESTING ARTICLE on the actual effects of a living wage in communities where it has been implemented, written by Stephanie Luce, Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. Article
4/24 HOUSE MASTERS for all the Houses at Harvard (except a couple who were out of town) have written an open letter to the administrators asking them to meet with students. Read it here . The United Ministry at Harvard has also endorsed this letter.
PRESS Contact various newspaper, TV stations and tell them you want to hear about the Living Wage Sit-in. Contact info
Senator Paul Wellstone sends a letter of support.
Senator Russell Feingold sends a letter of support.