Harvard University Employee Speaks Out On School's Health Care Policy


An employee of Harvard University has spoken out against the school's health care policy and benefits. Apparently, the institution still requires its workers to pay for their health care.

In a piece for The New York Times, Rosa Ines Rivera, a cook at Harvard University, described how she is able to serve students as well as doctors and researchers. She revealed that dining hall workers are required to pay even more for their health care even though they already pay as much as $4,000 a year.

About 750 workers have been on strike for two weeks now. She and some of her co-protesters were arrested after they sat down in Harvard Square and blocked traffic in an act of civil disobedience.

Medical school students supported them and walked the picket line with them in solidarity. An analysis of Harvard's proposal revealed that the cost of premiums alone could eat up almost 10 percent of Rivera's income.

The Ivy League university also wants to increase their co-pays for every doctor visit from $15 to $25. Primary care, which was free, will now cost employees $100 for outpatient hospital care and some tests.

There are costs that would be reimbursed for lower-income workers. However, the expenses that they need to get out of their pockets would still be difficult for the employee.

Students noted that, according to state government guidelines, Harvard's proposal is actually unattainable for nearly everyone. Rivera also lamented her salary, which falls just between $430 and $480 a week.

Harvard University has the largest endowment among all colleges in the U.S. For the end of the 2015 fiscal year, it had $37,615,545,000 as endowment. It is followed by fellow Ivy League institutions Yale University, with $25,542,983,000, and Princeton University, with $22,291,270,000.

Recently, the Ivy League university was also able to raise $7 billion for its fundraising campaign, which began in 2013. It is the largest sum ever raised in a higher-education capital campaign. The campaign is set to end by Jun. 2018.

The Ivy League university was able to reach $5 billion as of Dec. 2014. By Jun. 30, 2015, it has already reached the $6 billion mark.

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