Monday, November 30, 2009

No More Layoffs - Rehire all laid off workers - Rally - Wednesday, Dec 2, 5pm


Rehire the Laid-Off Workers! No Furloughs!

RALLY! Wed., Dec 2, 5pm

Holyoke Center, 1350 Mass. Ave. Cambridge

(next to Au Bon Pain, Harvard MBTA stop)

Harvard University’s highly-speculative investments caused its endowment to soar during boom times. Predictably, when the market tanked, Harvard’s risky bets on private equity, hedge funds, etc., lost some money. Refusing to resort to pay cuts for top administrators like many other institutions, Harvard has chosen to balance its books mainly on the backs of lower-paid workers. Hundreds of staffers have been pushed to retire early amid ominous noises about budget cuts and potential job losses. In June, Harvard announced it would lay off 275 clerical and administrative employees. At least 115 members of Harvard’s largest union, HUCTW/AFSCME local 3650, were laid off, not counting term employees whose contracts were not extended. Five months later, less than half the laid off union members have found non-temp positions at Harvard, despite supposedly having preference for open jobs. Some union members now face furloughs (weeks of time off without pay), when they must continue to pay their usual deductions for health-care, etc. despite getting no paycheck!

Harvard’s endowment is still $26 billion! Despite this huge pile of money, Harvard enjoys “non-profit” tax status and doesn’t pay the taxes that ordinary businesses have to pay. We rally to say that Harvard owes the surrounding communities more than layoffs and furloughs! For more information pls. email

Sunday, November 29, 2009

FAS to Decrease Size of Faculty (Harvard Crimson)

FAS To Decrease Size of Faculty

Hiring to continue but not at same rate; retirement packages to be offered

19 Nov. 2009
By Noah S. Rayman and Elyssa A. L. Spitzer, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS

Dean Michael D. Smith said he will shrink the number of professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, ending a decade-long expansion in order to offset the school’s $110 million deficit.

Harvard ignored warnings about investments

Harvard ignored warnings about investments
Advisers told Summers, others not to put so much cash in market; losses hit $1.8b

By Beth Healy
Globe Staff / November 29, 2009

It happened at least once a year, every year. In a roomful of a dozen Harvard University financial officials, Jack Meyer, the hugely successful head of Harvard’s endowment, and Lawrence Summers, then the school’s president, would face off in a heated debate. The topic: cash and how the university was managing - or mismanaging - its basic operating funds.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Emeka Onyeagoro

Emeka Onyeagoro
Candidate for HUCTW
Union Rep, Widener

I'm running for Widener Rep because of my strong commitment to social justice. For nearly two decades I've participated in community-oriented activism and organizing. As a Union Rep, I will keep employees updated about union resources and actions. I'll also do everything I can to help union members who have problems on the job.

Before I joined HUCTW, I was elected Shop Steward here at Harvard, as a Security Officer in SEIU (Service Employees' International Union) local 615. I acted as a source of information, and investigated and handled grievances. I won major, precedent-setting cases, including reversing terminations, and recovered union members' lost wages and vacation days. I fought for and won unemployment benefits and back pay for my fellow workers. I also served on the union negotiating team at our contract talks with management, which achieved seniority rights, much-improved wages, and an effective grievance procedure with arbitration, among other benefits.

During the struggle for our first contract, I helped organize large "living wage" rallies on campus. I worked closely with pro-labor students, and with members of HUCTW who supported the security officers. I maintain those links today, and believe that cross-union solidarity and work with sympathetic student organizations can help HUCTW too! We are always strongest when we stand together.

Recently I have participated in the No Layoffs Campaign, initiated by activists in HUCTW. I feel our union should publicly oppose layoffs. We need to make sure that the laid-off workers get rehired! I also believe we should push strongly for seniority rights, which help prevent age discrimination, and make jobs worth keeping, in our next contract. A no layoffs clause in the contract would be a big step forward, and I will advocate for this. Harvard still has incredible resources and I believe we should bargain from a position of strength, and push for good raises and a cost-of-living adjustment, which we need in such an expensive city.

On December 8, I hope you will consider voting for me, and the other members of the No Layoffs Campaign. Together we will win! Please feel free to contact me at

Phebe Eckfeldt

Admissions and Financial Aid


I pledge to give 100% to fighting for your job, your wages, benefits and union rights against Harvard's layoffs, cutbacks, drastically-increased workloads and union-busting. I will fight for a real grievance procedure that includes binding arbitration. The version of a grievance procedure we have now can take forever, and typically doesn't help union members who have problems. Our years on the job need to be honored. I feel we should demand dignity and respect.

Harvard is an educational institution, not a bank! Such figures as Ed Forst from Goldman-Sachs, and Robert Rubin, from Goldman-Sachs and Citigroup, have been appointed to the Harvard Corporation. the big investment banks continue to control Harvard's policies. After very risky investments in hedge funds and private equity, etc., made the endowment soar during economic boom times, Harvard naturally lost money when the market crashed. We must demand that Citigroup and Goldman-Sachs stop gambling away the endowment funds on the stock market and get out of our school. There is still $26 billion in the endowment, but Harvard is crying poor and taking it out on us workers. Money for education, staff, the community and student and faculty services, NOT the banks!

We need an active, responsive union with monthly membership meetings, a monthly bulletin and working committees. An informed membership is a strong membership, and a democratic union is a strong union. Members need a direct voice in the upcoming contract negotiations.

It's time to build a fighting union -- an uncompromising voice for the rank and file.

We need to fight racism, sexism and anti-lesbian/gay/bi/trans bigotry on the job and in the community. AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL!

Steve Fake

Steve Fake
Candidate for HUCTW
Union Representative, School of Public Health

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Genevieve Butler

Genevieve Butler
Candidate for HUCTW
Union Representative, Social and Political Sciences

Desiree Goodwin

Desiree Goodwin
Candidate for HUCTW Executive Board:
Professional Region

Joshua Koritz

Joshua Koritz
Candidate for HUCTW/AFSCME 3650
FAS Sciences Executive Board
Applied and Physical Sciences Union Representative

Harvard has the money to afford no layoffs, no workload increases and decent wages. I will fight for 6% raises on top of a cost of living ajustment tied to local cost of living indexes.
I want to build open lines of communication and will lend a hand to anyone who has any issue with managers or anyone else. With the continued growth of SEAS, I will work with other union members to address increasing work loads.
I have worked in the Gordon McKay Library in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) for 4 years. In that time, I have attended every possible HUCTW meeting, been active in the No Layoffs Campaign, and have worked on solidarity campaigns with other unions at Harvard and in the greater Boston area.

Geoff Carens


HUCTW members active in the No Layoffs Campaign are running for Executive Board in three out of five campus regions. We're fielding candidates for Union Representative in several areas. The No Layoffs Campaign seeks to send the message that our union doesn't have to accept job losses, worsening conditions and low raises.

Since the rumors began last spring that union members would face layoffs, we've organized a series of effective rallies that have gotten local, national, and international press. Our actions and the resulting media coverage have put healthy pressure on the university, and may have dissuaded management from making deeper cuts. Serious problems remain, and part of the reason I'm running for office is to call attention to them, and start a dialog about how we can make progress as a union.

Of the (at least) 115 HUCTW members who were laid off this year, only 49 have been placed in regular (not temp) positions. We need a major initiative to get laid-off workers re-hired! Ă…fter so many employees have retired or lost their jobs, others who remain face increased workloads, often without any additional compensation. Overtime has been eliminated in many departments. Job descriptions have been rewritten. Some HUCTW members have even been "furloughed" --forced to take time off without pay! We need advocates who will represent union members forcefully and effectively. As a Rep, I fight hard, always on the worker's side, and I get good results and win victories.

Harvard will push for concessions in our next contract. I believe we need to counter any pressure to accept less with a strong, determined approach. Our union should publicly oppose layoffs. We should push for good raises, seniority rights, and a cost-of-living adjustment. The Executive Board is the body that currently makes the major decisions on union policy. As a member of the E-Board, I will argue for an assertive approach that puts the needs of union members first.

The E-Board and Rep elections will be held December 8. Between now and then, candidates from the No Layoffs Campaign will be meeting as many union members as we can. To learn more about our effort to strengthen the union, and elect leaders who will be responsive to union members' wants and needs, please contact me anytime at

-Geoff Carens

Friday, November 13, 2009

Open Letter to AFSCME

I have a concern about the union election process at Harvard University as administered by the HUCTW incumbents. For the past several years in several elections the incumbents have given nominated challengers paper printout mailing lists with no e-mail addresses on it, and a lot of outdated addresses as well. As part of a reform group that organized rallies against the layoffs, and compiled information on laid off staff, I noticed on this list the names of several people who were laid off in the early summer. Since the incumbents received advance notification and participated in warning various departments that the layoff would affect them, they must have known these e-mail addresses were no longer valid. The incumbents have provided their candidates with an electronic e-mail list, which enables them to broadcast campaign literature to the membership. I formally requested access to a membership list in electronic form that includes e-mail addresses and received no reply from them. My question is if providing unequal advantages to incumbents during an elections is in any way a violation of the bylaws. It seems unfair and undemocratic. Our elections will occur in early December. I would appreciate a response before then if possible.

Desiree Goodwin

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Boston Globe announces Top 100 employers - Harvard doesn't place

The Globe 100's top places to work
The Globe invited more than 1,000 companies to participate in the second annual Top Places to Work. Of those, 269 organizations went all the way through the process, allowing us to conduct a confidential survey of their workers. Research partner WorkplaceDynamics of Exton, Pa., specialists in employee engagement and retention, contacted more than 160,000 employees at those companies, and received surveys from 86,000 individuals. Each was asked to grade their organization's performance according to 24 distinct statements, ranging from "This organization demonstrates it values employees during difficult times" to "It's easy to tell my boss the truth."