Rutgers University & Faculty Unions Reach Deal to End Strike

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 17, 2023

Rutgers

After five days of protests, negotiations, and classes being canceled, faculty members at Rutgers University have ended their strike following a tentative contract agreement reached with the school.

The deal was announced early Saturday morning, effectively bringing the historic strike to an end. Students could resume classes starting this Monday, April 17, 2023, Erudera.com reports.

“Rutgers University has reached the framework on economic issues for new contracts with several of our faculty unions, ending the week-long strike,” Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said in a statement published on April 15, 2023.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy facilitated the agreement, and demands of staff and faculty are now included in the new contracts, specifically salary increases, better working conditions, and job security for full-time and part-time staff.

Under the new agreement on contracts, salaries for full-time faculty and EOF counselors will increase by at least 14 percent, beginning July 1, 2025.

President Holloway also confirmed that the “framework” reached between Rutgers and its faculty unions provides fair salaries, benefits, and work conditions for faculty members, graduate students, and part-time lecturers.

He expressed gratitude to Governor Phil Murphy for stepping in to settle the dispute, saying the deal comes from the active and engaged leadership of Governor Murphy.

Holloway said that fulfilling the expectations of Rutgers students and their families to be fully supported and nurtured in their academic ambitions and dreams is the school’s priority.

The agreement also provides a 43.8 percent rise in the per-credit salary rate for lecturers working part-time at the university over the four years of the contract. At the same time, it is expected to strengthen their job security.

In addition to the abovementioned improvements, the minimum salary for postdoctoral fellows and associates will increase by 27.9 percent over the four years of the contract.

“The agreement provides substantial enhancements in wages as well as a commitment to multi-year university support for our teaching assistants and graduate assistants.

These graduate students, in addition to receiving health care coverage and free tuition and fees, will see their 10-month salaries increase to $40,000 over the course of the contract,” Holloway explained in his statement.

The strike that affected 67,000 students studying at Rutgers began Monday, April 10, 2023. Staff and faculty demanded salary increases, better working conditions, and secure employment, among other things. About 9,000 faculty and staff joined the action, which was the first-ever strike in Rutgers University’s history of nearly 257 years.

Rutgers University is one of the oldest universities in the nation, with 48,040 undergraduate students, 19,580 graduates, 8,000 full and part-time faculty, and more than 14,000 full and part-time staff.

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