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Thousands of Rutgers University Workers Launch Strike Over Job Security and Pay

Thousands of Rutgers University Workers Launch Strike Over Job Security and Pay

“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”

Thousands of workers and students at Rutgers University, represented by three different unions, went on strike this week, seeking higher pay and increased job security.

In a quick take just yesterday, we linked a story that claims even though higher education has seen historic salary increases recently, they are not able to keep pace with inflation.

The Washington Examiner reports:

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

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.

“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.”

Here’s a local news report:

According to Politico, this has been building for months and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has been involved all along:

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was personally involved in failed contract negotiations between Rutgers University and faculty unions that went on strike Monday for the first time in the school’s history.

Now Murphy, a Democrat who has counted organized labor among his closest political allies, is betting he’ll be able to reach an accord by becoming further intertwined in the dispute. He’s so confident he told Rutgers leaders not to take legal action against the striking workers despite the school’s contention the work stoppage is illegal.

Murphy and his staff were in talks with Rutgers and labor officials for months — and as recently as Sunday — ahead of the strike, the governor said. On Monday, he called a meeting in his Trenton office to try resolve the impasse and said he spoke briefly with the two sides at noon.

“I’m not happy that it’s come to this. I am happy that we’re in the room together,” Murphy, speaking after an unrelated event in the Statehouse, said he told those in attendance. “Figure this out ASAP.”

Featured image via YouTube.


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they are university employees . Dont you have actually be doing work to get paid

Their demands are straight down the line Democrat Party talking points.

    artichoke in reply to Whitewall. | April 11, 2023 at 10:28 am

    Governor doesn’t want university to take action against them, because he wants the strikers to win. They must be protected and not lose their jobs for this.

    I failed to notice that tuition-payers or other taxpayers representatives were attending these negotiations. Surely an accidental omission from the article.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Whitewall. | April 11, 2023 at 9:33 pm

    I saw that, too.

    Silly protesters. Dont’ they know that stuff is for external use only?

Suburban Farm Guy | April 11, 2023 at 9:30 am

“The strike isn’t expected to affect classes…. university computer labs and the library would continue to operate.”

Good. Fire them all. They’re obviously not needed. Not core to the mission of education. (ISTR administrators outnumbering students 2 or 3 to 1)

Well, if they dump their DEI programs and half of their overblown support staff they might be able to afford some pay raises.

Want job security? Get a real job.

The assistant tertiary vice associate aide to the deputy collation specialist can probably be spared. Don’t get me started on the staplers.

E Howard Hunt | April 11, 2023 at 9:52 am

Given their political thought processes, wouldn’t their best avenue in keeping pace with inflation be to lobby congress to pass a law banning inflation?

I am not too old, but I’m not young.

Over my years working, as an employee, as a consultant, as a contractor, small business owner, I have always found that the best way to get job security and better pay is to work hard, to never stop learning, and to push yourself to prove that you are the best at doing your work.

I have also found that unions and collective contracts are the worst enemy of somebody like me. Collective contracts do not reward talent, effort or contribution. Instead they usually end up rewarding political loyalty to he union. They also protect and cover for the lazy and the incompetent.

That said, you’ll understand if I say that I am for firing them all.

    Dathurtz in reply to Exiliado. | April 11, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Education sometimes works differently, although it shouldn’t. I lost my job at a ritzy private school because I had the audacity to give an ex-senator’s grandchild a B. I had excellent observations, excellent parent and student feedback, and (as far as I know) an excellent relationship with my coworkers. But…that isn’t the primary criterion by which I was judged.

    We don’t get fired, we just don’t get hired again next year.

    I have no idea if these workers have a legitimate grievance. Universities can really abuse lecturers and adjuncts.

healthguyfsu | April 11, 2023 at 9:57 am

Some of these are pretty bad, like being fired as a full time lecture (non tenure track) and being re-hired as part-time.

That said, these are the sown seeds reaped by DEI, unrealistic spending/budgeting, and a decline in enrollment where prior mistakes are at least partly to blame.

    artichoke in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 11, 2023 at 10:33 am

    I never understood the full-time adjunct phenomenon. It’s a fairly recent thing. In the old days one was either tenure-track or tenured, or a part-time adjunct teaching in the evenings and holding a real job, usually in a related field, during the day.

    Now there are full-time adjuncts, and I’ve heard that at least some places they are represented by SEIU, the same union that represents hotel maids. It’s a lousy job, and it’s well known that being full-time adjunct will mean nobody will respect you and ever give you a tenure track job. So why don’t these people get real jobs? Presumably they are unable to find them.

    And that comes back to the question: do we want them teaching the new generation of college students? Shouldn’t we have more successful role models in front of the classroom?

      healthguyfsu in reply to artichoke. | April 12, 2023 at 4:09 pm

      In most places, there’s no such thing as a full time adjunct because the university lacks the funds to pay the benefits to that role.

      You may be referring to someone who is part time at multiple places. There are also full-time positions known as lecturer (Ph D level) and instructor (MS level). Instructors are almost non-existent anywhere except CC unless they happen to be really good or the university is a unique niche.

      Most of those people are as respected as tenure track at the liberal arts level. At the R1 level, they are pretty much entirely separate from tenure track and probably not respected. Most R1 level tenure track professors are grant writing machines and teach very little if any classes. So, in essence, these are the people that teach most of the classes at a big university.

I have some sympathy for the adjuncts; they are treated poorly at nearly every university.

Terminate 1/3 of the administrators and 2/3 of the DEI staffers and you’d free up enough money to help the adjuncts. Too bad none of the striking adjuncts have the temerity to say that.

    artichoke in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 11, 2023 at 10:43 am

    Why do we have full-time adjuncts? It’s only in some fields. In fields that pay well, like medicine and engineering, you won’t find a full time adjunct. You will get some people who come in to teach in the evenings, largely to give back and help new people join their profession, and a bit of extra pocket change.

    The full time adjuncts are in fields that don’t pay well, which usually means the university should have less of that anyway. We don’t want to train people in dead-end directions, even if they are the easiest ways to graduate. The only exception I can think of is English, where we do need writing instructors for freshman service courses.

      healthguyfsu in reply to artichoke. | April 12, 2023 at 4:11 pm

      That’s not entirely true. Engineering in particular requires a stiff competition with the industry marketplace and faculty can be harder to find and retain tenure track faculty because they can make more elsewhere.

    Gosport in reply to stevewhitemd. | April 11, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    Why keep any DEI people? They have built themselves a fiefdom, a self-licking ice cream cone.

    These aren’t newly discovered principles and somehow higher education has existed for centuries without specialists in them, so why now?

    Any Dean who isn’t capable of or willing to manage the diversity, equity, and inclusion in their dept (to whatever extent it needs managing) needs to be replaced.

      SpeakUpNow in reply to Gosport. | April 12, 2023 at 2:41 pm

      The only reason they need a DEI bloated bureaucracy is because they must have been guilty as hell of racism and bigotry against all manner of victimized groups until very recently. Otherwise no need. I’d love to see a researcher lay out all the cases of racism and discrimination against all these so-called oppressed groups before the DEI movement, let’s say beginning in 1990, and the number of. incidents today. You’d think with all the schools jumping on this bandwagon and spending a ton of money the schools would be interested. in seeing what their money is going towards. Isn’t that the scientific method?

        markm in reply to SpeakUpNow. | April 20, 2023 at 1:41 am

        The DEI advocates will tell you that the scientific method is racist – or at least imply that by calling the use of observations, measurement, math, and logic racist.

        In other words, they head off studies that will probably show that DEI increases actual racism, and every advocate of it should be fired, by claiming that the methods used are racist…

Two comments:

1. Provided trans-rights are protected and everyone is using the correct chosen pronouns, pay and job security should be secondary concerns;


2. Shouldn’t their posters have the hammer and sickle logo prominently displayed?

Fire them all.

retiredcantbefired | April 11, 2023 at 5:20 pm

Why are any of them still in New Jersey?

BierceAmbrose | April 11, 2023 at 9:35 pm

I’m having another Kissenger moment. Can”t both sides lose?

I have always had this thought in my mind, that striking for job security would probably be counter-productive.