Campus & Community

Statement of President Lawrence H. Summers on completion of contract negotiations with service unions

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July 18, 2002

I am pleased to report that as of June 13, 2002, the University and its three principal service unions completed negotiations designed to bring entry-level wages into the range recommended by the Harvard Committee on Employment and Contracting Policies in its final report released Dec. 19, 2001. Beginning July 1, 2002, on-campus service workers – including custodians, retail dining service workers, and museum and security guards – will enjoy significant wage increases, with starting rates that exceed the range of $10.83 to $11.30 per hour recommended by the committee. The timely and successful completion of the negotiations with all three unions testifies to the constructive spirit with which union and University representatives approached the bargaining process.

I want to take this opportunity to underscore the University’s commitment to this type of collaboration at the bargaining table. The University remains strongly committed to maintaining and enhancing its positive working relationships with the unions currently representing our employees. I also want to affirm longstanding Harvard policy: No one working on behalf of the University may violate federal or state law by interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of their rights guaranteed under applicable statutes. If credible allegations are made that any such rights have been infringed, University officials will vigorously investigate the claims and take appropriate action.

The positive outcome of these negotiations demonstrates the University’s commitment to maintaining and enhancing a professional environment that recognizes the talents and excellent work of each of our employees. I commend the union and University negotiators for completing this process so expeditiously.

Lawrence H. Summers