On Brink of a Strike: Rutgers Faculty and Grads Win Historic Contract!
Press Conference Weds., April 17, 10am—11 Stone St. New Brunswick, NJ
New Brunswick, NJ, April 16, 2019—Nearly 5,000 full-time faculty and graduate employees at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, won a tentative agreement with truly historic and unprecedented accomplishments on the brink of a strike. After more than a year of bargaining, protests and pickets demanding race and gender equity, job security and dignity, members of the AAUP-AFT union were prepared to strike for their first time in the university’s 253-year history. The gains won by members—from grad workers to the most senior scholars and researchers are stunning.
“We made history today. For the first time in the union’s nearly 50-year history, we won equal pay for equal work for female faculty, faculty of color, and for faculty in the Newark and Camden campuses. We won significant pay raises for our lowest paid members, our graduate employees who will see their pay increase from $25,969 to $30,162 over the course of the contract,” said Deepa Kumar, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
“In other historic firsts, the union won $20 million for diversity hiring and a guarantee of a workplace free of harassment and stalking, enforced with binding arbitration. Academic freedom now applies to social media,” she added.
Rising student solidarity efforts, boldly expressed these last weeks on picket lines, social media and in classrooms helped secure this contract.
“Graduate employees and Non-Tenure Track (NTT) faculty won greater job security. NTT faculty will enjoy multi-year contracts for terms up to seven years. For the first time ever the union will avail of a grievance procedure for NTTs – and with binding arbitration. Furthermore, in this climate of insecurity for immigrants, the union worked hard to revise the University’s ‘no-green card’ policy, Rutgers may now sponsor NTT faculty for permanent residency” said David Hughes, Vice=President of chair of the AAUP-AFT and chair of its bargaining team.
United together, grads and faculty tackled ave begun to reverse the deep precarity of TAs/GAs. The AAUP-AFT won protections against the conversion of TAships to poorly paid Part-Time Lecturer positions, making $5,178 without health care. Before completing coursework and qualifying exams, any PhD student who teaches must be employed as a Teaching Assistant.
“Nearly 3,000 Part-Time Lecturers still await a contract, fair salaries, and health care,” added David Hughes. Our full-time faculty and graduate members will continue to do everything in our collective ability to help win significant raises and health care for our adjunct colleagues, starting immediately. We call on our members, students and allies to join us Wednesday, April 17, for Solidarity actions on all campuses. In New Brunswick, join us at 4pm at the new Paul Robeson Plaza at seminary and College Ave. In Camden, meet at 11:20am at at the Walt Whitman statue in front of the camden Student Center. In Newark, meet at 2:30pm on the steps of the Robeson Student Center.
Press conference: 10am, 11 Stone Street, New Brunswick, NJ.