Yale University labor strife ends with new contract
Dec. 20, 1996
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A yearlong labor dispute at Yale University ended Thursday with a new contract that gives workers guaranteed jobs for 10 years and allows the school to bring in some outside contractors.
Two unions representing more than 3,000 clerical, maintenance and dining hall workers voted overwhelmingly for the six-year contract. Talks began in November 1995 and the old contract expired in February.
Yale President Richard C. Levin said the agreement is ``fair and equitable for both sides.''
The dispute at the Ivy League school was marked by periodic strikes and demonstrations. Yale, with a $4.8 billion endowment and work force of about 10,000, is the largest employer in New Haven.
Union leader Bob Proto said the workers came around to the university's position on subcontracting. Workers feared subcontracting would lead to the elimination of well-paying jobs and the demise of the unions themselves.
The compromise allows franchises at four dining halls, with union members operating them at lower wages and no benefits. The pact also allows limited subcontracting of some maintenance work, such as plumbing.
In exchange, the university will give all current workers a 10-year job guarantee, and raises of 2 percent to 3 percent.
``I think the contract is great,'' said administrative assistant Patricia Spiegelhalter. ``It's about time Yale started treating us with dignity.''