Harvard should negotiate fair and equitable contracts

The following letter was sent Friday to William Murphy, of Labor Relations at Harvard University:

Dear Mr. Murphy,

I’m a graduate of Harvard College, Class of 1972, and have served on the Cambridge City Council for 22 years, with three terms as mayor of Cambridge.

I know Harvard has a huge endowment. The university should negotiate fair and equitable contracts with both its direct and contracted-out workers. In this economic climate, Harvard should not nickel-and-dime its security guards, custodians or other employees. We all shop at the same grocery stores, we all use the same health facilities and dental clinics, and we all need to retire. We all need to be treated with respect and dignity. The workers need their job security, health and welfare benefits, and fair wages.

I encourage you, as a representative of the university, to negotiate fair and equitable contracts for your employees — and to ensure that outside contractors do the same for those who work for the university.

Specifically, I urge you ensure that Securitas settle a contract with the security guards that would keep their current health care plan, provide a fair wage and give them access to full-time work and to the educational assistance program that direct Harvard employees enjoy.

Sincerely,

Kenneth E. Reeves, Cambridge city councillor

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