Wednesday, December 1, 2010
UNION MEMBERS VOTE TUES., DECEMBER 7!
Go to www.huctw.org for times and places to vote.
Below are personal statements from candidates:
- No Layoffs and Budget Cuts: Harvard Has the Money!
- Rehire the laid off HUCTW workers: Stop the abuse of term and temp workers! Full union rights for all!
- Fight the targeting of longer service employees + for a real seniority clause in our next contract.
- Higher raises in the next contract! Reverse the trend of declining raises!
GENEVIEVE BUTLER FOR PRESIDENT
“In one year we lost at least 340 HUCTW jobs (7% of our membership), due to layoffs, attrition and
‘voluntary’ retirements. Our current contract features the lowest raises HUCTW members have ever
received. It’s not possible to blame the economy because Harvard recently received a $50 million gift,
purchased an enormous dairy farm in New Zealand for $20.7 million, and currently enjoys a $27 billion
endowment. Please vote BUTLER/ONYEAGORO/THEADORE/KORITZ: We want real
representation, real advocacy and a real union!”
EMEKA ONYEAGORO FOR VICE PRESIDENT
“On December 7, we need to send a strong message that this is a union of the members of HUCTW,
directed, and sustained by all of us and not by the very few on top. I ask for your vote because I
understand what is at stake; we need to strengthen our grievance process, fight the targeting of longer
service employees, stop harassment of union reps, end the abuse of term and temp workers, and reverse
the trend of declining raises.”
DEBORAH THEODORE FOR TREASURER
“I am running for Treasurer because I think our Union needs to be closer to its membership than to
management. I am running because I am tired of seeing the same names shuffling through all of the
executive positions in the Union. I am running because I’ve seen our Union leadership back away too
often from supporting and defending members who have been unfairly targeted for personal, not workrelated
JOSHUA KORITZ FOR SECRETARY + UNION REP (FAS SCIENCES REGION)
“I will be a strong advocate for workers, not the boss. I will always fight for workers in any situation.
The job of a Union Rep is to talk to union members, rather than HR. I’ll oppose increased workloads
and push for good working conditions - we as Harvard workers have the right to stand up for our rights,
and the Union exists to protect us.”
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Harvard University more than tripled its holdings in cash and US Treasuries, to $1 billion, by the end of fiscal year 2010, following sharp investment losses during the financial crisis that left the nation’s richest institution temporarily cash-strapped.
Harvard, in its annual report for the 2009-2010 year, ending June 30, said it made “significant progress’’ reshaping the university’s pool of operating funds “to be more readily available, and less susceptible to illiquidity and market fluctuations.’’ Harvard said it started to put the money in safer, shorter-term investments, starting in fiscal year 2008 and will stick with that strategy over the next year.
The university’s top financial officials said in the report that Harvard had made progress in responding to changed economic circumstances. “Nonetheless, we must continue to be vigilant in managing our finances in order to ensure that Harvard can fulfill its mission even with the continued uncertainty that surrounds us,’’ they wrote.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The University’s largest school made considerable progress since early 2009, closing nearly $185 million of a $220 million deficit. Now Smith pledges to eliminate the remaining $35 million deficit by the summer of 2012.
“Dean Smith has often stressed that this year would be the most challenging financially,” FAS spokesman Jeff Neal wrote in an e-mail yesterday.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Union Negotiations Made "Challenging" By Fiscal Situation
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
By HARVEY SILVERGLATE | June 30, 2010
Harvard, a private institution, is not bound by the First Amendment guarantee of free expression. But Harvard's own Free Speech Guidelines promise wide latitude for self-expression, because "[c]urtailment of free speech undercuts the intellectual freedom that defines our purpose." In at least four instances over the last year, however, Harvard's actions spoke louder than words.
1. Med School media muzzle A proposed Harvard Medical School policy for 2009–'10 instructed "all interactions between students and the media" to be coordinated with the school's public-relations office. The policy was reportedly influenced by student comments in a New York Timesexposé of conflicts of interest among Med School professors. When students were notified about the new policy last August, the incensed aspiring MDs naturally contacted the Times. Under the Times' spotlight, Med School administrators admitted the wording was "problematic" and vowed to remove the policy from the student handbook.
2. Law School soft censorship A third-year Harvard Law student, in a November e-mail to a friend, expressed her interest in seeing further research on a controversial question: whether race and intelligence might be genetically linked. Though the 3L stressed that she "would just like some scientific data to disprove the genetic position," she deemed the available data insufficient for certainty.
When said e-mail surfaced in late April on a self-described "legal tabloid" blog, Harvard Law Dean Martha Minow sent a school-wide response, in which she not only misinterpreted the student's intent, but condemned the mere asking of the 3L's questions. This skeptical student's "false view," Minow wrote in her accusatory e-mail, "suggested that black people are genetically inferior to white people."
Read closely, the student's e-mail makes no such suggestion. In Minow's response, however, you'll find a textbook example of soft censorship — no direct penalty, but a declaration that certain ideas (or even questions) are off-limits. Minow was "heartened" by the 3L's acknowledging "the offense and hurt that the comment engendered." How would Minow have responded had the student stood by her inquiry? Soft, or hard punishment?
3. Employee loyalty oath It's not only student speech that is under scrutiny. Harvard employees were required, this past year, to sign a stringent "confidentiality agreement," a ban on disclosure of "information about a person or an entity that, if disclosed, could . . . be damaging to financing standing, employability, reputation or other interests [emphasis added]." This serves to insulate not only Harvard, but also its administrators, from public criticism. "Other interests," of course, are in the eyes of the beholder. And few employees would risk venturing to find out what they might be.
4. The inmates take over the asylum Given the Muzzle-friendly campus milieu, it's small wonder that students even turned the cudgel of censorship onto themselves. Radical anti-immigration activist (and Minuteman Project founder) Jim Gilchrist was invited to speak at an October 17 Harvard symposium. Days before the event, notwithstanding that Gilchrist had spoken at Harvard Law less than a year prior, the Harvard Undergraduate Legal Committee rescinded the invitation. Justifying his censorial urges, a student expressed concern "about the broader national implications of legitimizing these extremist views with the Harvard name." These undergrads had clearly drunk Harvard's corporatized Kool-Aid.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
By Beth Healy, Globe Staff | May 18, 2010
The chief of Harvard University’s endowment earned nearly $1 million for her first six months on the job in 2008, according to a tax filing made public Monday, as global markets plunged and dragged the fund down with them.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
On 4/30/10 four workers in Widener received layoff notices. Three were HUCTW members. The union members laid off were working on digital photography and digital scanning projects, said to be the future of the Library. These latest layoffs come on top of at least *340 clerical union jobs* lost in the past year alone!
To protest these unnecessary and harmful cuts, and decry the ongoing abuse of Temps by Harvard, activists plan a picket during Harvard's Commencement Week.
We will highlight the case of Dennis Prater, pictured above at left, who was cycled through 3 different categories of Temp and LHT ("less than half-time") employment, even though the union contract says, "It is a fundamental ideal of the Harvard workplace that...the use of Temp and LHT workers should be exceptional and strictly limited, and never at the expense of regular employment. In other words, everyone who does regular Harvard work on a regular basis deserves the benefits of regular employment status." After ignoring the union contract by keeping Prater out of the union, and never giving him so much as one paid sick day, Harvard laid him off! Harvard Temps receive no meaningful benefits.
We will demonstrate against the layoffs and abuse of Temp employees on Wed., May 26, at 5 p.m., in front of Harvard's Holyoke Center, 1350 Mass. Ave., Cambridge.
ALL ARE INVITED TO COME AND HELP US STRIKE A BLOW FOR WORKERS' RIGHTS!
Friday, April 30, 2010
Workers Advocates March on Yard
Monday, April 26, 2010
By Remeike Forbes and Colette Perold
Cambridge — At 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, members of the Harvard and Cambridge communities will be gathering in Harvard Yard to celebrate a value overlooked on the Harvard campus during our period of rapid budget cuts: the dignity of human labor. The Harvard Student Labor Action Movement’s “Walk With Workers” is intended to demonstrate our community’s immense respect for Harvard’s labor,and to demand just treatment for Harvard’s workers as an integral part of said community.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
“Layoffs Are Not the New Crimson” - HUCTW and Supporters Rally Against Mass Layoffs at Harvard
Cambridge, MA - About 80 people rallied outside the Holyoke Center administration building at Harvard University early Thursday evening in support for the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers. The group gathered to protest the recent announcement of five more union employees losing their jobs at the Sackler Museum at the end of June. The rally also expressed outrage at the continued layoff trend, highlighting the loss of over 340 union jobs since last year, last spring’s forced early-retirement offers and the hiring of temporary employees. It was the latest demonstration in the ongoing No Layoffs Campaign at Harvard.
Led by HUCTW Widener library representative Geoff Carens, the demonstration also attracted, among others, members of the USWA Local 8751 Boston School Bus Drivers Union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), the Boston Anti-Authoritarian Movement (BAAM), the Boston Socialist Alternative and the Harvard Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM).
“Now, we have a problem in our union because our laid-off union members – some of them haven’t found work at all and their jobs ended in June,” Carens announced at the beginning of the rally. “And a lot of other laid-off workers are having to work as temps without any sick time, any vacation time or meaningful benefits because they can’t get union jobs.”
Carens went on to describe the reasons he believes the university has no justification for the recent round of layoffs.
“Harvard University, in just the last quarter – in three months – collected $121 million in federal stimulus money. Last year, the University took in $600 million in gifts. And the endowment remains $26 billion, the largest endowment of any university on Earth. They are considered to be a non-profit. A non-profit that is sitting on a pile of money, $26 billion! What kind of non-profit is that?”
The rally picketed in a circle for nearly an hour outside the Holyoke Center building, chanting slogans such as “Harvard Workers Under Attack! What Do We Do? Stand Up, Fight Back!” and “Worker Student Power Power!” Several passersby stopped to take literature and show support.
Following the picketing, Carens again addressed the group and introduced other speakers, which included a member of the bus drivers union, other HUTCW representatives and Harvard SLAM members.
Phebe Eckfeldt, HUCTW representative and admissions office worker spoke about the demand for transparency about Harvard’s financial situation.
“We say, this is an educational institution, it’s not a giant hedge fund,” she said. “The staff – we should be the ones to audit Harvard’s books.”
Eckfeldt went on to address what the union sees as discrimination and human rights violations against laid-off workers.
“We have to make sure that Harvard doesn’t divide us by racism, by sexism, by agism, by lesbian and gay and trans bigotry,” she said. “Workers were laid off by sexist, racist managers who used the layoffs to get rid of women and get rid of people of color.”
Eckfeldt closed her speech by noting that the UN Human Rights Constitution guarantees a job as a right.
A Harvard SLAM member discussed the recent changes the group has observed in campus awareness of labor issues.
“The student body is waking up a little bit ,” she said. “The faculty is asking ‘Where is all the outrage?’ and they’ve been asking it in their own offices and not realizing that a lot of other faculty members are asking this. And we’re now piecing them all together, which is really exciting so I think this is going really great places.”
She also addressed SLAM’s philosophy in regards to working within the Harvard community.
“We are of the profound belief that this campus is not just students, it is not just faculty and it is not just HMC, a corporation. It is a giant community of people that are all equally integral to how this place works.”
To close off the rally, members of the Industrial Workers of the World led the gathered demonstrators in a rendition of union anthem “Solidarity Forever.”
Speaking after the rally, Jane Williams, another SLAM member, talked about why her group came out to the union demonstration.
“SLAM is opposed to layoffs and believes that Harvard can take creative alternatives to layoffs so we’re here to show our support,” Williams said.
Carens felt optimistic about the turnout for the rally, which had been planned weeks in advance.
“I was so thrilled that this many people came out and I think it’s a very hopeful sign for the future.”
HUCTW is currently negotiating a new contract with the university, with the current three-year agreement expiring at the end of June. Eckfeldt explained that the timing makes this demonstration particularly important.
“We wanted to come up with a show of union strength to tell Harvard that we will not accept any concessions, any cutbacks, any more layoffs,” Eckfeldt said. “We’re also here because whatever we demand as workers gets back to the students in a beneficial way. They have cut libraries, they have closed libraries, they have cut library hours, they don’t have hot breakfast anymore. They have cut back on the resources on the faculty. So all of these things negatively impact the students. That’s why we’ve united with the students and vice versa and also other unions on the campus who are facing layoffs and cutbacks.”
In an email response to the reaction against the upcoming layoff of five Sackler Museum workers, Daron Manoogian, Director of Communications at the Harvard University Art Museums, noted the summer museum renovations.
“The Harvard Art Museum is operating in a limited capacity while construction crews carry out a major renovation of the facilities on Quincy Street, and beginning July 1 the Sackler Museum galleries will be closed on Sundays and Mondays. The limited gallery space and reduction in operating hours means that we need fewer staff in our Security and Visitor Services departments during the renovation. Museum officials and the University's Labor Relations team are already working through the established impact bargaining process with union representatives to address these changes, and we are committed to doing what we can under existing labor contracts to minimize the impact these changes will have on a small number of museum employees.”
William Murphy, Director of Labor & Employee Relations did not respond to requests for comment by press time. Kevin Galvin, Director of News and Media Relations at Harvard University declined to comment on the rally.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Harvard workers say: No more layoffs! No more furloughs!
Last year Harvard laid off hundreds of employees. Between the layoffs, and an early retirement “offer” made amid constant threats of job cuts, there are now 340 fewer workers in clerical union jobs than there were last year. Outsourced custodians have also been pushed out of their jobs. Dining service workers recently endured a January with virtually no salary or any unemployment benefits. Clerical workers face mandatory furloughs and the conversion of full-year positions into “seasonal” jobs, meaning summers off without pay, or any ability to collect unemployment.
With a still-massive endowment of $26 billion, Harvard does not need to make these hurtful cuts! Union activists call on Harvard to open its books and try to prove they are necessary. Recently five union members in the Sackler Museum were told they will be laid off July 1. This may be Harvard testing the waters to see if they can impose another mass layoff. Campus workers will not accept the loss of more union jobs!
RALLY! Thursday March 25, 5 p.m.Holyoke Center, 1350 Mass. Ave., steps from Harvard MBTA & next to Au Bon Pain, Harvard Sq. Cambridge
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Today HUCTW members in the No Layoffs Campaign met to discuss the situation. We set a tentative date of Thursday March 25 at 5 p.m. for our next public demonstration (barring any unforeseen conflicts). We are eager to do joint work with all who are interested to build for this action. We plan aggressive flyering and outreach leading up to the event.
The No Layoffs Campaign is sticking to our clear demands: No layoffs, no furloughs, rehire the laid-off workers. Today we talked about the need to say publicly to Harvard: Open your books! Prove that these hurtful cuts are somehow needed to ensure the viability of the richest university anywhere.
Alumni donations and improved financial markets help FAS close deficit
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has reduced its deficit to $80 million, signifying a drop that FAS Dean Michael D. Smith credited at yesterday’s Faculty meeting to alumni donations, improvements in the international financial market, and last year’s cost-cutting measures.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
By Elias J. Groll, CRIMSON STAFF WRITER
Donations to American colleges and universities fell nearly 12 percent during the fiscal year ending last June, the steepest decline in fundraising since the mid-1970s and a direct result of the recent recession, according to a report released by the Council for Aid to Education yesterday.
Charitable giving to Harvard beat the national average, declining eight percent for a total of $602 million in donations.