Yale and unions reach agreement on four-year contracts

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Local 34 President Laurie Kennington expresses her enthusiasm over the newest agreement with Yale at the meeting in Battel Chapel, where members voted to ratify the contract. (Photo by Michael Marsland)

Yale and Locals 34 and 35 of UNITE HERE have reached agreement on four-year contracts with the unions representing the university’s clerical and technical employees and its service and maintenance staff. The agreements succeed current contracts that expire in January 2013.

The new agreements address all aspects of working at Yale and reflect years of productive dialogue, collaboration, and problem-solving between university and union leadership. As with the current three-year agreements, the ongoing working relationship between labor and management at Yale produced new contracts many months in advance.

“These agreements recognize the outstanding contribution to Yale’s mission provided by the 4,700 members of Locals 34 and 35 throughout the University,” President Richard C. Levin said. “The contracts will allow us to continue to attract and retain the talented and dedicated staff who help make Yale one of the world’s greatest universities. We are pleased to extend the cooperative working relationship with our unions that began nearly a decade ago.”

“This contract continues our excellent standard of pay and benefits that has always made a positive impact on the surrounding economy. By working together, we are ensuring that our members and our city move forward,” said Local 34 President Laurie Kennington.

The new contract with Local 34 includes several career development initiatives, including a dedicated career development office. (Photo by Michael Marsland)

In addition to highly competitive salaries and benefit packages, the tentative agreements include several important career development initiatives for clerical and technical staff (Local 34). These include a dedicated career development office; a strengthened internal hiring process, with guaranteed interviews for internal applicants; and new skill development tools. There is also agreement with Local 35 to create new opportunities for training and advancement, including a custodian-in-training program and a painter’s apprentice program.

Yale is a critical economic engine for the City of New Haven, the region and the State of Connecticut, and employs many New Haven residents. In joint recognition of the university’s status as a steady provider of excellent jobs, Yale and its unions have agreed to a new commitment to hire New Haven residents, and to formally establish a New Haven Jobs Pipeline program.

Local 34 Vice President Maureen Malone Jones said, “After 32 years at Yale and as a founding member of Local 34, I can say with great pride that our Job Advancement language and the Jobs Pipeline Program are historic.”

Local 35 Secretary-Treasurer Tyisha Walker added, “This agreement sends a clear message to the community that our members are committed to sustaining good wages and benefits in a continuous effort to expand access to good jobs for the residents of New Haven.”

The agreements would continue the free, comprehensive health care for unionized staff and their families through Yale Health, the university-run, on-campus provider. The unions and university also collaborated closely on the design of a new external health insurance plan that will provide important cost savings to the university, while improving care and holding costs down for union members. 

President of Local 35 Bob Proto noted, “This is my 10th contract at Yale. Respect for our work has been a core issue for our union. With this contract, the university has demonstrated its respect for the union and its willingness to listen and work collaboratively.”

The members of Locals 34 and 35 approved the contracts unanimously in meetings on June 27.

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Media Contact

Tom Conroy: tom.conroy@yale.edu, 203-432-1345