Update 4/27/01

HAVARD LIVING WAGE SIT-IN UPDATE
> DAY 10
> www.livingwagenow.com
>
> Students are STILL sitting in for a living wage of $10.25/hr plus benefits
> for all Harvard workers.  Stop by Mass Hall, contact the  administration,
> and wear a button to show support.  Other ways to help follow - updated
> every day! -- and are essential to the success of this action.
>
> Please check out our website for our growing list of endorsements and tons
> of up to date information on the campaign.  Drop by Mass Hall for more
> information.
>
> **TODAY'S EVENTS**
> All events take place in front of Mass Hall.
>
> ONGOING: Supporters continue to keep vigilance outside of Mass Hall to
> prevent the removal of protestors and demand negotiations.  Stop by for as
> long as you can and picket or make banners and signs. The living wage
> sit-in documentary will be shown when there are no other activities.
>
> 11:40 AM: Rev. Dr. John Buehrens, President of the Continental Assembly of
> Unitarian Universalists.
>
> NOON: Rally
> Co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School for a Living Wage and Philips Brooks
> House Association.  Focus on living wage, public service, and law.
>
> 3PM: Poverty and Inequality: Faculty Forum
> Speakers include Michael Sandel, Juliet Schor, and Bradley Epps.
>
> 5PM: Janitor Rally
>
> 6PM: Greater Boston Interfaith Organization speaks about their official
> endorsement
>
> 7:15PM: Shabbat Services

> 8PM: Vigil
>
> ALL NIGHT: Tent City.  Come and sleep out with us!  Bring a tent if you
> can, or just use one of ours.
>
> **ADMINISTRATION RESPONSE**  The administration continues to refuse to
> negotiate. They have sent out an extremely misleading letter to media and
> those who write support e-mails. Our response to this letter follows.
>
> We insist that the administrators grant the demands of their students,
> faculty,  alumni, and staff - the people who make up this University.  YOU
> MUST URGE THEM TO DO SO.  Please continue to contact them and demand that
> they negotiate with the protestors.  See www.livingwagenow.com and go to
> "e-mails" for examples of letters that supporters have sent.  Our demands
> follow.
>
> Jeremy Knowles, Dean of Faculty of Arts and Sciences
> phone: 617-495-1566
> fax: 617-495-8208
> email: jeremy_knowles@harvard.edu
>
> Neil Rudenstine, President
> phone: (617) 495-1502
> fax:(617) 495-1502
> email: beverly_sullivan@harvard.edu
>
> Harvey Fineberg, Provost
> phone:(617) 496-5100
> fax: (617) 496-4630
> email: harvey_fineberg@harvard.edu
>
> Sally Zeckhauser, VP for Administration,
> phone: (617) 495-1512
> fax:   (617) 496-6109
> email:  sally_zeckhauser@harvard.edu
>
> Harry Lewis, Dean of Harvard College, lewis@harvard.edu
> phone: 617-495-1555
> fax: 617-496-8268
> email: lewis@harvard.edu
>
> Polly Price, Associate VP for Human Resources,
> Phone: (617) 496-3930
> fax:   (617) 495-8937
> email:  polly_price@harvard.edu
> SAMPLE LETTER:
> Dear President Rudenstine,
>
> 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.
>
> You must also 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.
>
> I also insist that you 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,
>
> **YOU CAN HELP**
> If you would like to perform or speak at an event, please contact
> 617-290-5802 or 617-645-0767.
>
> NON-HARVARD STUDENTS:
> Contact Iris: ihalpe01@tufts.edu
> * Organize a solidarity action. Stand outside with a cell phone in front of
> your student center and have people call the Harvard administration and
> demand negotiations and a living wage (info above).
> * Send a delegation to Harvard for the weekend to sleep out and participate
> in a Northeast Regional Rally for a Harvard Living Wage, Saturday at noon.
> Bring tents if you can, and get in touch with Iris for directions and more
> info.
>
> IF YOU HAVE
> 2 MINUTES:
> * Contact administrators and insist that they negotiate with the
> protestors.  Contact info above.
> * Ask your professors to hold class in front of Mass Hall.
> * Go to thecrimson.com and support the living wage in the poll to the right
> of the screen.
>
> 10 MINUTES:
> * Join us in front of Mass Hall during the day or late at night.  Write
> Rudenstine a postcard on an index card and drop it off at Mass Hall.
> * Deliver food (esp. vegetarian or vegan) to protesters inside Mass Hall at
> meal times.  Contact: 617-645-0767, rray@fas
> * Tell your friends, TFs, professors, parents, students, and alumni.  Go to
> office hours and make phone calls.
> * Get support signs at the information table in front of Mass Hall and hang
> them in your dorm windows.
>
> 30 MINUTES:
> * Pick up leaflets and posters in front of Mass Hall.  Poster the yard and
> your houses.  Leaflet your classes or in the Yard.
> * Stop by the info table and become an outreach contact.
>
> A NIGHT:
> * Join the tent city in front of Mass Hall.  Sleep outside to show support.
>
> STUDENTS:
> * Make a banner and hang it from your window.  Supplies in front of Mass
Hall.
> * Contact any student group you belong to and ask the it to endorse the
> campaign. Ask the members to come out to Mass. Hall to support the
> movement.  Have each member contact the administration.
>
> ALUMNI, PARENTS, AND DONORS:
> Contact: Dania Palanker (palanke@ksg.harvard.edu) to be put in the
> (anti)donor data-base.
> * Contact the administration and tell them that you will not donate any
> money until they negotiate with protesters or grant a living wage.
> * Sign up for your class listserve and send out a message asking classmates
> to write the administration saying they won't donate until a living wage is
> granted.  Contact Dania so we know your class has been contacted.
> How to do this: Send an e-mail to listproc@camail1.harvard.edu requesting
> membership to your class list. On your e-mail, leave the subject category
> blank and include a one line message saying: "subscribe HAA-HR19xx your
> name" filling in xx and your name accordingly. For example: HAA-HR1997 Jane
> Harvard.
>
> PROFESSORS AND OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS:
> Contact: tmccarth@fas.harvard.edu
> * Write an op-ed.  Contact: 617-596-8146, 617-256-5779 or stop by Mass Hall.
> * Speak at a rally.  Contact: 617-290-5802 or 617-645-0767 or stop by Mass
> Hall.
> * Teach a seminar inside Mass Hall.  Express concern that students are
> missing classes and enter Mass Hall to teach a seminar about your field,
> especially as it relates to economic justice.  Same contacts as for speaking.
> * Hold your regular classes outside of Mass Hall in support.
> * Contact other professors and ask them to contact the administration and> participate in the other helpful activities above.
>
> CONTACTS:
> Media: Paul: 617-256-5779, paullekas@yahoo.com
> Matthew: 867-3028 (beeper), mafeigin@hotmail.com
>         Emilou: 596-8146, maclean@fas.harvard.edu
>         Binh: adjemia@ksg.harvard.edu
> Graduate Students: Ricken: patelri@ksg.harvard.edu
> How else to help, or the scheduled events beyond today: Ben:
> stoll@fas.harvard.edu;  493-3662; 834-5824
>
> E-MAIL: If you or someone you know are not receiving and would like to be,
> contact jwagner@fas.harvard.edu or pslm@hcs.harvard.edu
>
> **DEMANDS**
> 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.  Complete
> implementation of such a living wage policy requires three other simple
steps:
>
> * To ensure that the university does not use subcontracting and
> reclassification to cut wages and benefits-as the Harvard Corporation has
> agreed it should not-Harvard must adopt a policy of maintaining wage and
> benefit levels when jobs are outsourced or reclassified.  Our
> Implementation Report contains methods for assuring this which should be
> adopted.
>
> * A board must be created, not appointed by the administration, to oversee
> implementation of the living wage policy.  The board should have binding
> policy-making power to enforce the policy, and should consist of workers,
> union representatives, faculty, members of PSLM, and an administrator.
>
> * Harvard relies on the labor of workers both on campus and off, and both
> must be covered by the university's living wage policy.  Workers in
> factories that produce Harvard goods must therefore be assured a living
> wage for their community; indeed, Harvard has already agreed to a Code of
> Conduct which contains a commitment to this very idea.  In order to
> determine whether factories are complying with Harvard's Code, however, the
> university must join the Worker Rights Consortium, the only independent
> factory monitoring group which satisfies the Code's guidelines.
> **RESPONSE TO HARVARD'S STATEMENT**
> 1.  Harvard says:  "A very small fraction of Harvard employees (about 400
> ...) were paid less than $10 per hour."
>
> The truth is:  The University's own figures reveal at least 1000 - perhaps
> 2000 - workers at Harvard getting less than a living wage.  Harvard
> obscures the truth by talking about "Harvard employees" and ignoring the
> many people who work at Harvard for Harvard through a contracting firm.
> These people do the same work, be it maintenance, cafeteria or security
> guard, as employees on the Harvard payroll.  In many cases, subcontract
> employees have simply replaced direct employees, or Harvard has converted
> direct employees to subcontracted ones, slashing their wages and benefits
> in the process.  Furthermore, Harvard leaves out of many calculations
> "casual" employees - non-unionized employees who are supposed to work only
> a limited number of hours for Harvard, but often work more than Harvard's
> rules allow.  They too do the same jobs as "regular" Harvard workers.
>
> In fact, we believe that significantly more than 500 subcontracted workers
> get less than a living wage, which would make the total closer to 2000.
> Harvard manipulates the definition of "Harvard employee" to deny many of
> the people who make Harvard work.
>
> 2.  Harvard says:  "There have been a number of occasions for the [the
> Living Wage Campaign] to present their views ... to members of the
> University administration."
>
> The truth is:  Harvard has repeatedly denied the Living Wage Campaign any
> opportunity to speak to the body that makes the ultimate decision about
> whether workers at Harvard get a living wage.  That body is the Harvard
> Corporation, which has ultimate authority over the running of the
> university under Harvard's bylaws.  We have repeatedly petitioned for a
> meeting with the Corporation, and Harvard has repeatedly refused.
>
> 3.  Harvard says:  "The 1999-2000 review ... recommended innovative
> programs to enhance the status and opportunities of service employees.
> These recommendations [] have been adopted by the University."
>
> The truth is:  By its own admission, Harvard is not close to implementing
> the recommendations that it said last May it was adopting.  Associate Vice
> President for Human Resources Polly Price told us that she would speak with
> subcontractors about the recommendations in January 2001.  In March 2001,
> she told us that she would do so this summer.  In the meantime, Harvard has
> not even written the "code of conduct" that it promised to impose on
> subcontracting firms.
>
> In the six months after Harvard approved the recommendations, the Living
> Wage Campaign spoke to workers from all areas of the university.  We did
> not find a single worker who had heard of the increased access to benefits
> that the report promises. Workers who were eligible for benefits were still
> not receiving them, and didn't even know that they should be receiving
> them.  President Rudenstine told us that if workers didn't know that they
> were entitled to benefits, it was their unions' fault for not passing the
> news along.  But, as noted above, the truth is that many subcontracted and
> casual workers are not unionized, so if they are unaware of the benefits
> Harvard promised the fault can rest only with Harvard.
>
> Harvard speaks with particular pride of the Bridge Program, which teaches
> English to workers at Harvard.  But workers have told the Living Wage
> Campaign that they signed up for the program months ago and never heard
> back from management.  The truth is that during the fall 2000 semester, the
> Bridge Program served only 143 workers-hundreds fewer than anticipated.
> And Vice President Price told us that Harvard expects the program not to
> expand in the spring semester.
>
> 4. Harvard says:  "[T]here have been a number of occasions for the students
> to present their views directly to the committee [Ad Hoc Committee on
> Employment Practices]."
>
> The truth is:  Although the committee did meet with students, in its
> seventeen meetings it only found time to meet with one worker.  That worker
> was brought to the committee by the Living Wage Campaign.
>
> 5.  Harvard says:  "The 1999-2000 review [was] conducted by a faculty
> committee."
>
> The truth is:  The committee's own report lists its composition as six
> professors and two administrators.  Another four administrators served as
> staff to the committee(including Polly Price, discussed above).  The
> committee included no students and - oddly, given its mandate to study
> Harvard's employment policies - no Harvard workers.  All its members were
> handpicked by President Rudenstine.  An administration-faculty committee
> selected by the administration cannot represent the faculty, much less the
> University.
>
> 6.  Harvard says:  "These recommendations [from the Ad Hoc Committee] ...
> include expanded availability of health benefits for part-time workers."
>
> The truth is:  If it is ever implemented, the Committee's proposal may well
> reduce health care for Harvard workers.  Currently part-time employees on
> the Harvard payroll are offered health insurance if they work over twenty
> hours a week.  The committee recommended lowering that to sixteen hours.
> The risk is obvious:  Harvard and its subcontractors will simply cut
> part-time workers down to 15 hours per week.  When Harvard promised health
> insurance to part-timers working 20 hours per week, a lot of them were
> suddenly cut back to 19 hours.  We suggested independent monitoring to
> protect workers against such cutbacks;  Harvard refused.
>
> 7.  Harvard says:  "[T]he University meets and exceeds its stated goal of
> providing fair ... compensation and benefits packages for its employees."
>
> The truth is:  We agree that Harvard has stated this goal;  the problem is
> that Harvard is not living up to it.  The National Low-Income Housing
> Commission estimates that a wage of over $15 per hour is necessary to
> afford a two-bedroom apartment in the Boston area. Another study, published
> by Wider Opportunities for Women, found that in a family with two working
> adults and one child, each adult needed to earn $11.41 per hour to live in
> the Cambridge area in 1997. A single parent with one child needed to earn
> $17.47. In Boston, the corresponding figures were $10.08 and $15.28. These
> figures do not include extravagant living.  They do not even include the
> rise in the cost of living over the last three years.
> Those minimal wages are why workers at Harvard are taking second and even
> third jobs elsewhere, working 70 and 80 hours per week.  Those minimal
> wages are why some Harvard custodians regularly eat in soup kitchens.
>
> In fiscal year 1999, Harvard paid $10 million to one fund manager - about
> as much as it would have cost to give a living wage to 2000 other
> employees.  Does Harvard think that that is fair?
>
> Thanks for your support!
>
> The Harvard Living Wage Campaign
> www.livingwagenow.com