NEW JERSEY — Thousands of Rutgers faculty members will go on strike Monday for the first time in university history. This as the establishment sought to ensure that the situation did not affect its more than 67,000 students and their academic progress.
Three faculty unions representing some 9,000 educators, researchers and doctors at the university’s three main regional campuses in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden voted unanimously to authorize the strike after labor negotiations broke down over the weekend. This is the first strike of its kind in the school’s 257-year history.
The unions say they have been without a contract for 284 days. At the heart of the shutdown are employee salaries and equal pay for adjunct faculty. Unions say it’s unfair that auxiliaries have to reapply every semester, regardless of seniority, and that graduating students aren’t paid a living wage for their services. They also want better salaries for clinical workers at the university’s health facilities on its sprawling campuses.
A strike is scheduled on all three campuses on Monday.
Rutgers said he would quickly reach an agreement with several unions, including the AAUP-AFT and the AAUP-AFT Part-Time Faculty Chapter. He also says he has held more than 100 negotiation sessions with union leaders and will continue talks until full agreements on pay and other issues are reached.
In the meantime, the university says it is open and operating normal hours while negotiations continue. This student FAQ page has more information about the implications of the strike.
“The continued academic progress of our students is our primary concern, and we will do everything we can to ensure their progress is not impeded by a strike,” Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said in a statement.
On Sunday evening, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted that he had called on both sides to come back to the table.