News & Updates

Notice of Return to Work | December 30, 2019

On December 30, 2019, the HGSU-UAW Bargaining Committee notified the University that the student worker represented by its Union would unconditionally return to work on Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

University Statement on Bargaining Session | December 19, 2019

The University and the Union reached tentative agreements on six additional articles today, marking progress in the negotiations. The University remains committed to addressing concerns raised during these negotiations and will continue to meet with HGSU-UAW in hopes of reaching a reasonable resolution. Among the proposals still on the table are the University’s offer of more than $800,000 in additional funds to assist student workers with dental and dependent health care premiums, insurance co-pays and child care, along with proposed wage increases of 8.2% for research assistants and 7.2% for teaching fellows, over three years.

University Statement on HGSU-UAW Strike | December 3, 2019

Harvard University remains engaged in negotiations with HGSU-UAW and we continue to feel a strike is unwarranted. Student workers have an vital role in fulfilling Harvard's teaching and research mission, and with that in mind, the University is committed to addressing concerns that have been raised throughout this process. A strike will neither clarify our respective positions nor will it resolve areas of disagreement.

Harvard has put forward proposals that are responsive to concerns raised in these negotiations by the Union, including proposals for compensation and benefits enhancements in addition to the guaranteed five years of full payment of tuition and health care premiums, as well as the financial assistance stipend, the majority of HGSU-UAW members already receive. The University remains concerned over several aspects of HGSU-UAW’s proposals, including the demand to negotiate financial aid that is provided based on their academic status, not their status as a student worker; the call for a labor arbitration process for harassment and discrimination matters that does not meet the equitable requirements of federal Title IX regulations; and the demand to negotiate the terms of a health care plan that would impact all students, not just graduate student workers.

The negotiations between the University and HGSU-UAW are ongoing, with both sides having exchanged counter proposals earlier this week. This includes a revised proposal from the union on compensation and benefits put forward on Monday, December 2, which the University is currently reviewing.

The University takes seriously its responsibility to ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to complete their academic work in the event of a strike by HGSU-UAW. Several weeks ago the University began its contingency planning for a strike and will take steps to ensure as little disruption as possible to the work and exams students are focused on as they complete their academic requirements in the remaining weeks of the semester.

NLRB proposed rule

The University is currently reviewing the proposed rule to assess its implications on the ongoing negotiations with HGSU. In the meantime, negotiations are continuing and bargaining sessions are already on the calendar for the weeks ahead.

Letters to the Harvard community

Update on HGSU-UAW Negotiations

December 11, 2019

I write with an update on the ongoing negotiations with the Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Auto Workers (HGSU-UAW). On December 2, the day before the strike began, the union shared several revised proposals with the University, including one on compensation and benefits. Over the past week, the University has been reviewing those proposals to understand their economic implications. We are scheduled to meet with the union next week to discuss these proposals as well as new counter proposals on other issues from both sides.... Read more about Update on HGSU-UAW Negotiations

Compensation Proposals for Student Workers: HGSU-UAW Negotiations Update

December 5, 2019

Dear Faculty: Compensation is a core focus of any labor negotiation, and that is true of the ongoing negotiations with HGSU-UAW. We write to share information on the current compensation proposals that have been offered by both the University and the union. And, to put those into context, we also share information on current financial aid and compensation for the bargaining unit members.... Read more about Compensation Proposals for Student Workers: HGSU-UAW Negotiations Update

University Position on HGSU-UAW Proposed Arbitration of Harassment and Discrimination Claims

December 3, 2019

Dear Faculty: With the Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Auto Workers (HGSU-UAW) strike beginning today, we write to give you information regarding a key issue that has been part of our negotiations: How the University handles claims of harassment and discrimination, and specifically the Union’s proposal for grievance and arbitration of such matters.... Read more about University Position on HGSU-UAW Proposed Arbitration of Harassment and Discrimination Claims