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Harvard graduate student workers union ratifies first contract

Student workers vote for one-year deal

Student workers at Harvard University voted to ratify their first union contract on Tuesday, the Harvard Graduate Students Union said.
Student workers at Harvard University voted to ratify their first union contract on Tuesday, the Harvard Graduate Students Union said.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Student workers at Harvard University voted to ratify their first union contract on Tuesday, the Harvard Graduate Students Union said.

The one-year contract with the university will increase pay for student workers, guarantee health and safety protections, strengthen protections for student workers against discrimination and harassment, and help protect job security for international student workers, the union said in a statement.

The contract was ratified by 96.9 percent of voters, according to the union.

“Student workers at Harvard make this university run by teaching courses and conducting cutting-edge research,” Rachel Sandalow-Ash, a member of the union’s bargaining committee, said in the statement. “It is about time that we have a union contract that ensures we can do that work in a safe environment.”

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The union and Harvard reached a contract agreement on June 15. Student workers voted to unionize in April 2018.

The contract guarantees pay raises for most student workers, the statement said. Salaried workers will receive a 2.8 percent raise, and hourly workers earning the state minimum wage will receive a 25 percent raise.

Student workers will have access to child care subsidies, according to the union. The union won a $350,000 fund to help offset the cost of child care for student employees who are parents.

The contract included nearly $600,000 to help offset health care premiums and copayments, the union said. It also guarantees that workers who make a Title IX complaint will be given a letter outlining their right to union representation, the statement said.


Andrew Stanton can be reached at andrew.stanton@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @_andrewstanton.