Labor


Ten Stories That Shaped 2021

At Harvard, 2021 was a year marked by change. The school’s long-awaited return to in-person operations injected new life into a campus that had been left dormant for over a year by Covid-19. And in an unexpected shift, the University announced its intention to divest its endowment from fossil fuels after a decade of public pressure. Separately, faculty controversies — including a federal conviction and a high-profile departure — ignited debates that rippled across academia. Below, The Crimson looks back at the 10 stories that shaped the last year at Harvard.


‘A Wide Range of Experiences’: Harvard Clerical and Technical Workers Incorporate Remote Work

Harvard’s more than 5,000 unionized clerical and technical workers have faced different transitions back to working on campus. Juggling health guidelines as well as employees’ needs and preferences, many departments switched — temporarily or permanently — to hybrid arrangements.


Garber Calls Grad Student Union Tentative Agreement ‘Very Fair’ as Members Prepare to Vote

As Harvard’s graduate student union prepares to vote on a tentative agreement reached with the University, Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 called the proposed deal “very fair” and said he hopes to avoid a second disruptive strike.


Harvard Clerical and Technical Workers Ratify One-Year Contract

After some internal contention over its latest tentative agreement, Harvard’s clerical and technical workers union voted to ratify the new one-year contract Wednesday, securing raises, lump-sum bonuses, tax relief on certain Harvard classes, retroactive sick days, and new diversity, equity, and inclusion commitments.


Rep. Pressley, Supporters Call on Harvard to Raise Staff Wages at Tuesday Rally

Nearly 200 demonstrators, including U.S. Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley (D-Mass.), other elected officials, undergraduates, and union supporters, called on Harvard to offer higher wages to its custodial workers and security officers at a rally in Harvard Yard Tuesday afternoon.


Harvard Graduate Student Union Threatens Another Strike Beginning Nov. 16

Just 10 days after its last strike, Harvard’s graduate student union announced a new strike deadline Monday — if the University does not address its “unfair labor practices” and offer an “acceptable deal” by Nov. 16, student workers will go on a “strike of undetermined length.”


Harvard Clerical and Technical Workers Raise Opposing Views on One-Year Tentative Agreement

Ahead of a vote on a one-year tentative agreement with the University, some members of the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers are calling on their leadership to negotiate a higher raise, while others say accepting the 2.9 percent raise will provide immediate relief.


The Grad Student Strike is Over. What’s Next for Student Workers?

Harvard’s graduate student union reflected on its three-day strike at a membership-wide meeting Tuesday evening, discussing the University’s request for strikers to log hours of work withheld and next steps, including the possibility for a second strike.


Picketers at Smith Campus Center

On both Wednesday and Thursday, picketers circled around the entrance to the Smith Campus Center, attempting to prevent Harvard affiliates from entering the building. This picketing technique forces others to “cross the picket line” in order to attend lectures, visit office hours, or access labs.


Union on Strike

On Thursday, undergraduate students walked out of their classrooms around 11:35 a.m. near Harvard Yard to support the graduate student union strike. Undergraduates cited solidarity with graduate student workers in deciding to join the demonstrations..


Undergrads Walk Out of Class in Support of Grad Student Strike

At approximately 11:35 a.m. on Thursday, undergraduates swiftly walked out of their classrooms into Harvard Yard and adjacent buildings to join the Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Automobile Workers on the second day of their strike.


Harvard Graduate Student Union to Begin Strike at 6 a.m.

For the second time in two years, Harvard’s graduate student workers will trade teaching and research for the picket lines as their union begins a three-day strike at 6 a.m. Wednesday, with picketing to set to start at 9 a.m. at Harvard Yard and the Longwood campus.


Harvard’s Grad Student Strike, Explained: How Did We Get Here, and What’s Next?

Graduate and undergraduate student workers and their supporters are headed to picket lines in Harvard Yard and Longwood, with the union’s bargaining committee confirming Tuesday night that the strike will begin at 6 a.m.


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