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Yale Strike Pulls Classes Off Campus

September 04, 2003|From Reuters

BOSTON — Yale University teachers held about 200 classes off campus Wednesday, the first day of the fall term, to show solidarity for an eight-day strike by workers at the elite Ivy League school, a union spokesman said.

The strike by thousands of the New Haven, Conn., school's secretaries, technicians and cafeteria employees is their second this year and their ninth since 1968.

As the strike entered its second week, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano hosted talks between union representatives and managers aimed at resolving the dispute, which centers on pension benefits, job security and pay levels.

DeStefano met with both sides for several hours Wednesday morning before the two sides talked face to face for about 90 minutes, a spokesman for the mayor said. More talks were planned for today, officials said.

To show support for the striking workers, members of the Yale faculty taught about 200 classes in New Haven restaurants, coffee shops and church basements, said Bill Meyerson, a spokesman for the striking unions.

More than 2,700 unionized workers remain on strike, Meyerson said, but about 1,250 members of the three striking unions have crossed picket lines.

Union negotiators have agreed with Yale on wage increases ranging from 3% to 5% in the first two years of the new contract. They disagree on longer-term raises.

The unions are also asking Yale to double its retirement benefit, which the unions say pays an average of $621 a month to workers with 20 or more years on the job.

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