Monday, April 30, 2007

The Issues

Fair Wages and Real Parity

In 2002, students and workers pushed Harvard to adopt its Wage and Benefits Parity Policy, which mandates that non-union, outsourced workers receive equitable pay and benefits to the unionized, in-house workers who do the same or similar work. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that outsourcing is not used to lower wages. Unfortunately, Allied and Harvard claim that security officers are most like museum guards and parking attendants hired after July 2006, who inexplicably make $2/hr less than those hired before that date. By creating this obscure B Schedule, Harvard and Allied have been able to evade the Parity Policy. Now, they want to sneak this same income inequality into the new contract eventhough Security officers face a rising cost of living and the daily challenge of making ends meet. Their wages and benefits must be on par with those of Harvard’s janitors and dining hall workers, which they are not. Wages must also be on par with those of security officers at comparable area universities, like MIT and BU, which they are not.

Steady, Full-Time Work

Security officers need consistent pay, not just fair pay. They must be guaranteed full-time work schedules that ensure a steady income and a stable quality of life.

Fair Grievance Procedures

Most contracts stipulate that employees can only be fired for “just cause”, verified through a company-sponsored investigation with “due process”. AlliedBarton, however, wants to reserve something they call “management rights”, which would deny security officers their right to “just cause” and “due process” if anyone associated with Harvard – administrators, professors, students, etc. – brings a complaint against them. They could be immediately fired and AlliedBarton would have no responsibility to investigate the allegations or to prove misconduct. In addition, Security officers must be able to file complaints against both direct (AlliedBarton) and indirect (Harvard) employers.


Under federal labor law, managers are not allowed to have union membership. Of about 250 guards, AlliedBarton is claiming that 32 are managers and are, therefore, ineligible for union membership. However, the definition of a manager is someone who can independently hire, fire, and discipline co-workers. None of the so-called “managers” AlliedBarton has identified has that authority. And, in other cities where AlliedBarton has negotiated union contracts, these supervisors have been included in the bargaining unit.