Dining hall workers at Harvard University are preparing to go on strike after more than three months of contract negotiations with university officials, according to a statement from Local 26, the union that represents the workers.
The workers’ current contract, which includes a “no-strike” clause, expires Sept. 17, said union spokesperson Tiffany Ten Eyck.
The workers are demanding at least $35,000 a year in pay and rejecting the university’s proposal that they assume more of their health care costs, Eyck said.
The workers are scheduled to announce their plans to strike at 2 p.m. Wednesday at First Parish in Cambridge. The rally will include the unveiling of an approximately 120-foot mural that includes photos of more than 600 workers who are prepared to strike, she said.
The news was first reported by the Harvard Crimson.
Eyck said that 70 percent of Harvard’s dining hall workers do not earn $35,000 without overtime. But Harvard University spokesperson Tania deLuzuriaga said the university’s wages are “highly competitive” and that the average dining hall worker earns nearly $22.00 an hour. Harvard’s proposed healthcare plan has been accepted by unions that represent more than 5,000 employees across campus, she said.