Union, University Reach Contract Agreement

A two-year contract would increase staff members' compensation.

The Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers  (HUCTW) and the University have reached agreement on a new two-year contract, effective this July 1, subject to member ratification in a vote scheduled for July 22.

The contract would grant all full-time covered staff members a $1,000 annual salary increase for the first year (pro-rated for those working less than 35 hours weekly, but in any case, not less than $600); and for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011, “healthy salary growth” (according to an HUCTW release), averaging 3.5 percent. (Staff members covered by the HUCTW contract received their negotiated pay increases of 4.9 percent or so in the fiscal year that just ended, June 30; during that year, in light of the University’s financial crisis, nonunionized staff and faculty members’ compensation was frozen; in the current fiscal year, nonunionized employees are eligible for compensation increases averaging 2 percent.)

A two-year contract term enables HUCTW to negotiate a renewal earlier (past contract cycles have been for three years), which may be an advantage if economic circumstances and Harvard’s financial position—driven by returns on the endowment—improve.

According to the union statement, “New policy language in the agreement will clearly assure the union and affected members of our opportunity to hold union-management discussions on layoff plans before they are finalized and to propose alternatives.” At the end of fiscal year 2009, 275 staff members were laid off, and the hours of others were reduced.

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