Rutgers Full-Time Faculty and Grads Win Contract

By Kelly Hand

Nearly five thousand full-time facul­ty members and graduate employees in an AAUP-AFT union chapter at Rutgers won a tentative agreement with the university’s administra­tion on April 16 after more than a year of bargaining. On the verge of a strike, members were fighting for pay equity, job security and dignity, and increases in pay for graduate and teaching assistants. Chapter president Deepa Kumar said, “For the first time in the union’s nearly fifty-year history, we won equal pay for equal work for female faculty, faculty of color, and for faculty in the Newark and Camden campuses.”

The union’s impressive gains also included raises in pay for graduate employees from just under $26,000 to more than $30,000 over the course of the contract; multiyear contracts and a grievance procedure for non-tenure-track faculty; and a $20 million provision for diversity hiring and protection from harass­ment. Contract negotiations for nearly three thousand part-time lecturers seeking significant raises and health care continued as this issue went to press.

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