Geoff Carens geoff.carens at gmail.com
Tue Nov 29 15:43:34 PST 2011

Dear All,

Marvin Byrd has worked in Harvard’s Science Center mail room since 1995. He
was hired first as a “casual” worker, and then into a union position in
2008. Partially-disabled, Marvin wears foot orthotics and custom-made
shoes; he has always been reliable, responsible and dependable in his job.
When he applied for a better-paid position in 2007 he was passed over,
despite being an internal candidate. He has lived on an income derived from
29 hours a week, since being hired into a Mail Clerk I position in the
lowest salary grade in the union.

This year management made Marvin pick from three harsh choices: a cut to 25
hours spread over six work days, an even-worse cut to 20 hours over a 5-day
week, or losing his job completely. Feeling he had little choice, Marvin
picked the 25-hour schedule, which meant diminished pay and getting just
one day off from work. Marvin has a grueling commute on public
transportation, which management knew about before cutting his hours and
income. No one else in his unit faced any change to their scheduled hours,
and no one else had to accept a regular schedule of six days per week.

Marvin now has to get on the bus in Lynn at 7:30 a.m. to get to work at
Harvard by 10. He typically gets just 4-5 hours of work and then has to get
back on public transportation for the journey home. He can’t get another
part-time job to make up for the cut in his income, because he only has one
day off from Harvard. Marvin has less money to live on; the cut in pay was
immediate with no transition, and immediately affected Marvin’s ability to
meet his obligations in leading his daily life. Campus workers believe
Harvard managers are trying to push Marvin out of his job.

This Thursday, December 5, union members, students, and concerned members
of the community will hold a demonstration of our support for Marvin. We'll
meet starting at 5 p.m. in front of Holyoke Center, 1350 Mass. Ave.,
Cambridge (right next to Au Bon Pain). Please join us if you can! Riot-Folk
artist Evan Greer will perform at the action. A flyer is attached with more
information. Please forward this email everywhere!

In Solidarity,

Geoff Carens, Union Rep, Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical
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