Huctw Agreement

Posted on Thursday, September 23rd, 2021 at 4:51 pm

In a joint statement, HUCTW leaders and university representatives wrote that the agreement, in addition to guaranteeing annual wage increases, “improves a number of political issues of mutual interest to the Union and the university.” The union — the Harvard Union of Clergy and Technical Workers — represents about 5,100 Harvard employees who work primarily in libraries, laboratories, and faculty offices. The agreement, which replaces a contract that expired nearly a month ago, is binding for the next three years. Without this activity, HUCTW could soon become an empty shell. Since Harvard`s staff has a high turnover rate — nearly 20 percent per year — the union keeps organizing new employees. Under HUCTW`s “agency store” agreement, employees are not required to join the union, although non-members are required to pay agency fees corresponding to normal dues unless they object. Instead of treating non-members as outcasts, HUCTW tries to maintain friendly relations. Employees and organizational meetings rejoice every time someone announces that after a few months or even years of patient effort, they have just registered in one way or another. On average, nearly 80% of eligible workers join the union. McArthur, for example, wrote a curious letter to his faculty in early 1992 about the “somewhat innovative approach or philosophy” of the 1989 employment contract. “Most of the people [faculty] at his school `have never been closely involved in the negotiations,`” he said, adding that they “didn`t know exactly what was being discussed or agreed in this particular area. Nor was there an opportunity to explore with everyone what the implications might be. Cautiously, McArthur said the new approach seems “very constructive and reasonable,” but his sharp indications of a lack of participation were clearly directed at Dunlop.

Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers 15 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (tel) 617-661-8289 (fax) 617-661-9617 (email) huctw.info@huctw.org How he and Rondeau planned, negotiations became a resolution process rather than a contradictory struggle. It took four months, but the results were worth it. The agreement was of the utmost importance for what it did not contain. There were no union work rules that included seniority, occupational classifications and the like. Although working rules are crucial in many factories, a university is not a factory. HUCTW executives believed that prescribing detailed rules would put workers in a straitjacket and undermine the idea of creating participatory employment. For its part, Harvard did not insist on the usual broad “management rights” clause, which lists all areas of decision-making in which workers do not find entry. Rondeau`s concept of unionism is embodied in HUCTW`s unique contract with Harvard. The agreement is first and foremost a statement of values and principles, not an elaboration of rules and procedures. After extensive consultations, Rudenstine and his deans and trustees issued a public statement confirming Harvard`s commitment to the philosophy of participation, expressed in the 1989 HUCTW agreement, and expressing strong support for the “innovative and unique” relationship that had developed at Harvard. While HUCTW welcomed the statement, the union feared a persistent tendency to fragment human resources instead of developing a unified university-wide policy.

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