Supporters of Harvard’s graduate student union rallied in four cities around the country Wednesday morning to pressure members of the Harvard Corporation to support the union’s contract demands.
University President Lawrence S. Bacow and a representative from the island of Antigua and Barbuda are discussing educational partnerships.
Harvard may have illegally asked some hiring managers to confirm with prospective teaching staff whether they plan to begin teaching on time next semester, potentially making their employment contingent on a promise not to remain on strike even if a contract is not reached by then, according to experts.
After more than a week of picketing, Harvard and its graduate student union scheduled their first bargaining session since the strike began Wednesday — the meeting is set for Dec. 18.
Harvard’s graduate student union went on strike last week on the final day of fall classes. One week later, pickets continue across campus with no end in sight yet. The union announced their decision to strike last month, days after members overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike. The union and the University have met for 28 bargaining sessions since October 2018 and tentatively agreed on 12 contract provisions. Differences on key issues, however, remain: They have yet to find common ground on health care, compensation, and a procedure to adjudicate sexual harassment and discrimination complaints. The strike has already impacted University operations — several classes had to reduce hours allocated to review sessions and some had to move classes out of Harvard Yard. In addition, some deliveries were disrupted across campus last week as picketers stood in front of loading docks and asked drivers to not deliver their goods.
As hundreds of graduate student union members and their supporters have cycled through picket lines across campus over the past week, some students have decided not to join their ranks.
More than a week after Harvard’s graduate students union began its indefinite strike, both University administrators and union negotiators have yet to schedule any new sessions to work toward a contract.
Mail and package deliveries across the University were disrupted Wednesday and Thursday by the graduate student union strike, which will enter its fourth day Friday.
Several academic departments across the University emailed graduate student teaching staff asking whether they are participating in the graduate student union’s strike this week, prompting anger among union members.
Department admin and course heads have had to reduce review sessions and relocate classes as hundreds of graduate student union members gave up their teaching duties to join the strike.