Cafeteria workers at Simmons College in Boston and Lesley University in Cambridge are the latest in a wave of 800 campus food service workers who have joined Local 26 in greater Boston.
Workers at Simmons College ratified their first union contract in January. The average cook, food server, barista, or dishwasher will see her pay increase at least $3.25 per hour over the life of the agreement, and the lowest-paid workers will earn $4 per hour more over the life of the contract.
Through strong organizing, they also won job postings and other important employee information posted in places and languages accessible to all, fair distribution of overtime, and a fair promotions process. Free employee-only health insurance will transition to more affordable, high-quality couple and family insurance by the end of the agreement. Workers also won a first-ever perfect attendance bonus and six accrued sick days per year.
On March 7, food service workers at Lesley University ratified their first union contract, one year after winning recognition with Local 26.
The Bon Appetit servers, dishwashers, cooks, and cashiers won a contract that includes an average raise of $1.30 an hour in the first year and $3.40 over three years, earned sick days and holiday pay, and a fifty percent reduction in the cost of health insurance premiums for employees.
Workers at Lesley used numerous actions to maintain momentum over the year of negotiations, including testifying before Cambridge City Council, a living wage rally during an epic sleet and wind storm, and delivering 522 petition signatures demanding fair working conditions and living wages for cafeteria workers. Read more from the Boston Globe.