March 24, 1999

President Neil Rudenstine
Provost Harvey Fineberg
Massachusetts Hall
Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138

Dear President Rudenstine and Provost Fineberg:

We received Dean of Students Archie Epps' e-mail message of March 22, 1999, advising us of your intent to create a faculty task force to explore the implementation of a living wage. We look forward to your announcement of the members of that task force, the deadlines set for task force investigations, and the methods which an informed task force would use to implement a living wage policy. Students, service workers, and union representatives, of course, must be members of this task force. The purpose of this task force should be determining how (not whether) to implement a living wage policy.

In the meantime, the urgency and magnitude of the matter of a living wage requires your immediate personal attention. Our correspondence and meetings with Dean Epps and with Ms. Kim Roberts, Director of Labor and Employee Relations, have been informative and nothing more.

Our letter addressed to you, President Rudenstine and Provost Fineberg, requested a meeting with you on or before March 10 to discuss implementation of a minimum $10/hour living wage for all service workers at Harvard. While that date has passed and we have not met with you, we remain very willing to work together to fully commit to the single outcome of this living wage by May 1, 1999, and to fully implement this outcome by September 1, 1999.

However, since we still have yet to receive any word (let alone a meeting) directly from you, we must emphasize our increasing concern that your personal refusal to engage in this process reflects an unacceptable, intentional decision to avoid leadership for the implementation of a living wage. We hope that our simple demand, paying service workers at Harvard a wage on which they and their families can live above the poverty line, is not so unreasonable as to warrant your continued personal intransigence.


Harvard Living Wage Campaign

cc:Dean Archie Epps
Dean Jeremy Knowles
Ms. Kim Roberts
Vice President Sally Zeckhauser