9,000 Rutgers faculty and staff launch strike demanding better pay and benefits

Rutgers Teachers Strike
Strikers march in front of Rutgers’ buildings in New Brunswick, N.J., Monday, April 10, 2023. Thousands of professors, part-time lecturers, and graduate student workers at New Jersey’s flagship university have gone on strike — the first such job action in the school’s 257-year history. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

9,000 Rutgers faculty and staff launch strike demanding better pay and benefits

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Three separate unions that represent more than 9,000 faculty and staff at Rutgers University went on strike Monday after contract negotiations between the school and the unions stalled.

The two Rutgers chapters of the American Association of University Professors, along with the Adjunct Faculty Union, began striking on Monday with no definite end date, as the three unions, which have been in negotiations with the university for months, seek higher pay, enhanced job security for adjunct faculty, and expanded employee benefits.

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“The administration doesn’t understand that we are determined to fight together for equal pay for equal work, a living wage for all, real job security, race and gender equity, and a fair salary increase,” the union said in a press release announcing the work stoppage. “We have no other choice than to go on strike to build a university that truly values its workers and its students.”

The strike isn’t expected to affect classes. On its website, the university said that many students should expect to continue attending classes throughout the strike and university computer labs and the library would continue to operate.

In a statement, the university said it had held over 100 bargaining sessions with the unions and that all negotiations had been conducted in good faith.

“Despite the university’s best efforts, members of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT union and Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter of the AAUP-AFT have voted to authorize their union leadership to call a strike if those leaders deem it necessary,” the university said. “The leadership of our faculty/academic unions have called for a strike at Rutgers, beginning on Monday morning, April 10, 2023.”

In their own statements, the unions have accused the university of delaying and obstructing efforts to reach an acceptable collective bargaining agreement.

“We have been bargaining for a new contract for nearly a year,” the union said. “This entire time, the administration has delayed and obstructed our efforts to reach an agreement. Our unions and the administration are still far apart on core demands, especially those affecting our most vulnerable colleagues.”

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The work stoppage has drawn the attention of Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ), who invited both sides to come to his office and engage in “productive dialogue.”

https://twitter.com/GovMurphy/status/1645229740083630080?s=20

“The world-class educators, students, and staff of Rutgers University have my word that these parties will negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement that is fair for all parties,” the governor said.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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