Harvard Agrees to Raise Striking Workers’ Pay

A new contract would pay full-time employees at least $35,000 a year and would not raise health care costs.

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Meeting the two key demands that striking workers have spent the past three weeks calling for, Harvard University has agreed to pay full-time food service employees at least $35,000 a year. Under a new contract pending approval from the union mployees will also not see an

Brian Lang, who heads Unite Here Local 26, the union that represents the workers, made the announcement Wednesday afternoon, reports the Harvard Crimson

A spokeswoman tells the Crimson that the union will announce whether members voted to approve the contract later this afternoon. If the contract is approved, the workers could be back to work in Harvard dining halls as early as Thursday morning.

More than 700 workers had taken an historic stand this year—the first strike on campus since 1983 and the first-ever during the school year—to call for better wages and for a freeze on health care costs. They had earlier failed to reach an agreement with school administrators on a new contract after months of negotiations.

After 22 days of marches, picketing, boisterous rallies around Harvard Square, and a student sit-in, the union and the university reached a tentative agreement early Tuesday morning.

The workers’ cause, and their dispute with an institution that has an endowment valued at more than $35 billion, has attracted attention from around the world.