Harvard University won't be seeing another strike on its campus thanks to an agreement reached between the administration and the university's nearly 700 janitors on Tuesday.
The janitors reached a tentative four-year agreement an hour after their contract expired, according to the workers' union 32BJ SEIU. The deal provides a 12.5 percent increase in wages over the life of the contract, meaning janitors will make $24.67 an hour by the end of the four years.
The agreement also secured employer-paid healthcare and includes language to promote full-time work. At the school, nearly 30 percent of the janitors currently work part time.
“When hard-working men and women win good jobs with decent wages and benefits, it’s a win for families, communities, employers, and the economy as a whole,” said Roxana Rivera, vice president of 32BJ SEIU, in a news release. “The service workers are rightfully proud of the work they do and are determined that these jobs remain strong jobs, with good wages and benefits that create an entry into the middle class.”
The janitors authorized their union to strike last Thursday if an agreement was not reached. The union and Harvard University have been negotiating since Oct. 7.