Reaching Contract Agreement: How Harvard Did It

Members of our sister union, HUCTW, have just ratified a new contract with Harvard University, with over 98% of the members voting to approve it. We are happy to congratulate the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers for voting-in this new contract agreement. 

SHARE and HUCTW have a lot in common. Together, the following unions form a coalition of unions known as the New England Organizing Project, or NEOP:
  • the SHARE unions
    • at UMass Medical School, and
    • at UMass Memorial Hospital,
  • the Union of Social Workers at Cambridge Health Alliance, and
  • the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (or HUCTW)
Our shared vision includes a shared negotiation philosophy. In our negotiations, both HUCTW and SHARE begin by talking with management about what's important to union members. We listen carefully to what management says is important to them. Some of our goals overlap with those of management, and, of course, some do not. SHARE tries to build on our common ground, though we know we will disagree about other things. Before we start arguing what size piece of the pie we are going to get, we first want to figure out what we can do to grow that pie bigger. We look for ways to find solutions that work for both sides.

Union members got involved at Harvard to show their support for the union's ideas about healthcare. The NEOP unions agree: What happens outside the negotiating room, with union members showing their support, is just as important as what happens inside the negotiating room.

HUCTW and Harvard came to a contract agreement after long negotiations. As Harvard’s student newspaper, The Crimson, reports, Harvard’s most recent negotiations were long and frustrating. To focus discussions and hone interests, HUCTW and the University involved a team of professional mediators.

You can visit the HUCTW website to find a summary of the outcomes, as well as the complete language of the tentative agreement which has since been ratified by the members.
Every negotiation is different, from institution to institution, and with each successive contract. The next SHARE negotiations will evolve based on the interests of SHARE members and the needs of our hospital.  The strong success at Harvard inspires us to further develop our interest-based negotiation methods as we work to advance our wages and benefits, and create new and ambitious structures for improving our workplaces.

HUCTW member Noel voting in his first ratification vote at Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks location. Employees at this site, located in Washington D.C., recently voted to join Harvard's union.