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Harvard University, clerical union reach pact

Harvard University reached a tentative agreement on a contract with the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers Monday morning, calling for a pay increase over three years.

On April 2, the approximately 4,600 union members will vote on the agreement, according to a letter from the clerical and technical workers union. If ratified, the deal will be made retroactive to July 1, 2012, and run through Sept. 30, 2015.

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The tentative agreement came after roughly a year of negotiations.

“This is the most protracted and difficult negotiations we’ve had in 25 years together,” Bill Jaeger, director of the union, said Monday in a telephone interview. “It’s a big relief and a happy day.”

Jaeger said the union consists of nonfaculty staff in office, laboratory, and library positions. He also said the agreement is “likely to be ratified by a lot” on April 2.

“Every idea and concern has been addressed,” he said. “I’m pretty confident that it will be a popular agreement among our members.”

According to the union, the deal includes a first-year salary increase, which provides a 3.4 percent raise for a union member who has worked at Harvard for a minimum of a year and receives an average full-time salary of $51,000.

If the deal is ratified, members of the union will receive increases for 2013 and 2014 at the same rate, on Aug. 15, 2013, and Oct. 1, 2014 .

All members of the union will be granted three “Option Days” — two for 2013 and one for 2014. An Option Day can be taken as a personal day or as a lump-sum payment equal to 75 percent of one day’s pay.

There are a number of unresolved issues including health care coverage that will be referred to the HUCTW-Harvard Health Care Negotiating Group, which will meet regularly.

The previous contract expired in June 2012, Jaeger said, and at the time he expected the negotiations to only take a few months.

“It’s been a long wait and uncertainty for our members,” he said.

In a joint statement issued by Harvard and the union, Marilyn Hausammann, vice president for human resources at Harvard, said the university is pleased to have reached an agreement that is fair for both parties.

“We value and recognize the important role that HUCTW members play every day at Harvard, and we look forward to moving ahead together with the work of the university,” she said in a statement.

Jaeger expressed a similar sentiment. “It’s a good solid outcome for Harvard staff and very workable for the university,” he said.

Katherine Landergan
can be reached at ­klandergan@globe.com.
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