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Lesley food service workers ratify first union contract

Food service workers at Lesley University in Cambridge have ratified their first union contract, which increases their wages by about $1.20 an hour in the first year and $3.40 over three years.

Currently, the 85 cooks, dishwashers, servers, and cashiers make $12 an hour, on average.

The contract also cuts workers’ health insurance premiums in half and doubles the number of annual paid sick days, to six.

The workers, who are employed by a contractor, Bon Appetit Management Co., join 800 other cafeteria workers from Northeastern University, Harvard Law School, and other local colleges who have joined the hospitality workers’ union Unite Here Local 26 over the past two years.

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About 7,000 hotel, restaurant, and airport workers in the Boston area are members of Unite Here.

“I’ve worked two and three jobs but have still worried about losing my home,” Radames Moran, a cook at Lesley, said in a statement. “This contract will give me space to plan for the future.”

Lesley University spokesman John Sullivan said the school supports the collective bargaining process and is satisfied with Bon Appetit and its employees.

Katie Johnston