More Yale Union Employees Working Than Striking
A majority of Yale’s unionized employees are working today as they have been since the strike began on August 27, 2003. Throughout the strike, Yale has continued its important educational and research programs. No academic courses have been cancelled.
1,980 members of Locals 34 and 35 were on the job Friday, representing 52% of the eligible workforce and over 66% of Local 34 of the Hotel and Restaurant Employee Union (HERE), said Helaine Klasky, director of public affairs.
“We are thankful to the many union members who have decided to remain on the job and provide support for the university’s vital educational and research programs,” Klasky said. “Their assistance combined with the dedication of other workers, we have been able to carry on with our programs.”
Klasky said that top officials from Yale and H.E.R.E have held a number of meetings since the strike began. The two sides have agreed not to discuss specifics of the meetings, some of which have included New Haven Mayor John DeStefano Jr.
From the start of negotiations two years ago, Yale has offered significant wage and pension increases for all employees, and has also proposed enhanced job security, including a multi-year extension of the no-layoff guarantee enjoyed by service and maintenance employees in Local 35.
In addition, Yale’s contract offer would continue the University’s excellent benefit package, which includes health care coverage for all employees and their families fully funded by the University through the Yale Health Plan. Its costs Yale $9,900 per year to enroll a family in the Health Plan, which is also the health care choice of 75% of Yale’s faculty and non-union staff.
The benefit package also includes extensive paid leave, education scholarships for employees and their children, and the Yale Homebuyer Program, which gives $25,000 to employees who buy a home in selected New Haven neighborhoods. More than 560 Yale employees have already purchased homes through the program.
While other employers are requiring workers to pay a greater share of health care costs or make other concessions, Yale has demanded no “givebacks” from the unions in the contract negotiations.
Up-to-date information on Yale’s contract offer and the status of negotiations may be found at: www.yale.edu/opa/labor