Harvard University Wednesday (June 7) announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract with 470 Dining Services workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 26. Members of Local 26 are expected to vote on ratification of the agreement in the coming days. If ratified, the new contract would be in effect until June 19, 2011. It would result in an average increase ranging from 5.5 percent in the first contract year to 4.5 percent by the fifth and final year.
“This agreement maintains our competitiveness in the dining services industry and places our Dining Services employees’ pay at rates higher than those paid at most of our peer academic institutions, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Boston College,” said William J. Murphy, director of labor relations at Harvard. “The agreement’s five-year duration also provides stability for employees and the University.”
Full-time Dining Services workers earn, on average, more than $31,000 a year plus benefits valued at approximately $13,000. The average hourly wage for members of Local 26 increased 20 percent between September 2000 and September 2005, including a 4.3 percent hike last year.
“This tentative agreement underscores the University’s commitment to ensuring that all of our employees receive high-quality benefits and wages that are fair, competitive, and market-driven,” said Harvard Vice President for Human Resources Marilyn Hausammann. “The University is proud of the constructive and respectful relationship it has forged with members of Local 26 over the years. We consider these employees and all of our service workers to be the backbone of the University and absolutely essential to our core mission.”