Harvard University Agrees To Pay Its Workers More After Three-Week StrikeBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Harvard University and its employees have reached an agreement regarding their pay. This comes after dining hall workers went on a three-week strike.
BuzzFeed reported that workers were able to gain a "historic victory" last week. Their three-week strike culminated with the Ivy League university bowing to majority of their demands.
Brian Lang, president of the local union, said that the strike had "turned into a struggle for the soul of this institution." "It's a testament to when working-class people make a decision to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough," he added.
Harvard University will pay a $3,000 stipend over the summer for workers who got laid off or whose hours were cut. This will put the dining hall workers over the $35,000 minimum salary that they demanded during their protests.
The school has also confirmed that it will cover the increased costs of health care plans for the workers. The salary will only apply to full-time workers, though.
Rosa Ines Rivera, a cook at Harvard University, revealed how dining hall workers were required to pay even more for their health care even though they already pay as much as $4,000 per year. The Ivy League university also previously wanted 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.
In another report by BuzzFeed, the strike was said to have left Harvard University scrambling to stock frozen food to feed students. Students, for their part, prepared for the strike by bringing their own food. They were also advised to "beg their parents for care packages."
According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, about 600 students joined the protest later on by walking out of class. This is in support of the striking Harvard University workers. More than 250 of them sat in front of the administration building where negotiations took place.
Kate Lapp, Harvard's executive Vice President, stated that "the university has sought a resolution that maintains superior compensation for our dining workers, acknowledging their role as integral members of the Harvard community."