In a letter Thursday to Local 34 President Laura Smith and Local 35 President Bob Proto, Yale President Richard Levin denied the unions’ request for representation on two University investment committees.
In a Monday letter addressed to Levin, locals 34 and 35 requested representation on Yale’s Investment Committee and the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility, or ACIR.
Levin said because the Investment Committee has considerable financial obligations, it would be irresponsible to allow the short-term interests of “one important Yale constituency” to impact long-term steering of Yale’s endowment gifts.
But Levin said in the future he will consider all categories of staff, including bargaining units, when making appointments to the ACIR.
Levin stressed that the unions should “turn [their] attention to the serious and important work of concluding negotiations” on union contracts. Contract negotiations between Yale and its unions have been stalled since February.
Locals 34 and 35 represent nearly 4,000 clerical, technical, service and maintenance workers.
Smith said union leaders were disappointed by Levin’s letter, but she added that the statement will not deter union efforts to initiate dialogue with the University.
“We’re not going to be swayed from having a strong labor management partnership at Yale,” Smith said.
Levin suggested the unions could also participate by attending the ACIR’s periodical open meetings.
“I believe that responding to this opportunity would be more productive than your sending mass mailings to Yale’s alumni,” Levin wrote.