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HGSU-UAW agreement ratified

July 1, 2020

Yesterday we received notice that members of HGSU-UAW voted to ratify the Union’s first contract with the University. Now that it is ratified, the one-year contract is effective starting today, through June 30, 2021.

This contract is the first of its kind at Harvard, and its provisions reflect the University’s commitment to supporting our student workers and the important role they play in the academic life of this institution. With this contract, we have an agreement that we feel appropriately addresses employment-related concerns HGSU-UAW members have brought to the table, while also ensuring the integrity of the University’s research and teaching mission. Among the provisions of the contract are ones that were central to the negotiations, including:

Compensation and Benefits: For FY21, the contract guarantees a 2.8% compensation increase for Research Assistants and Teaching Fellows, along with a minimum hourly pay rate of $16 for non-salaried student workers and $17 for hourly instructional workers. The contract also provides nearly $1 million in additional financial assistance to student workers for costs associated with health and dental insurance, childcare and emergency situations.

Non-Discrimination: Harvard is committed to the safety and wellbeing of every member of our community and strives to ensure an environment that is free of discrimination and harassment. With that commitment in mind, the contract provisions include seats for HGSU-UAW representatives on the existing Title IX Policy Review Committee, a University-wide group that includes faculty, students and staff. Additionally, HGSU-UAW will have representatives on two to-be-established committees that will make recommendations on University policies and procedures for addressing other forms of discrimination and misconduct that do not fall under the federal Title IX regulations.

You can review the entire contract on the Provost’s Office Student Unionization website. In the coming weeks, my office, working with the Office of Labor and Employee Relations, will provide resources and materials to support the implementation of the contract. In the meantime, please direct questions to

The negotiations to reach this first contract with HGSU-UAW have not been without challenges. However, I want to emphasize once again that the University recognizes and appreciates the important role our student workers serve that enable the success of this institution, our faculty and, most importantly, our students.


Alan M. Garber AB ’77, PhD ‘82