Rutgers Could Face First Professors’ Strike in School History
Rutgers faculty will begin voting this week to authorize a strike against the university.
The Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union and the Rutgers AAUP-AFT will rally workers on campus Tuesday, Feb 27, and then begin holding the strike authorization vote.
If approved, it does not mean an immediate walkout but gives union leaders the power to call a strike if talks continue to stall.
For eight months, the unions and Rutgers have been at loggerheads over pay, health benefits, and job security issues.
Union leadership claims up to 20% of adjunct faculty are forced to go without healthcare and because Rutgers doesn't offer it to them.
The unions are demanding a 20% wage increase over four years, plus additional raises if inflation remains above 5%.
Adjunct professors, they say, also have to reapply for their jobs every semester, leading to uncertainty over job security. The union wants 1-2-year contracts for all adjunct faculty.
They are also pushing for a path to tenure for adjunct faculty.
Tuesday's strike authorization vote and rally will coincide with the Rutgers Board of Governors meeting in Newark. The union plans to rally on the Rutgers' campuses in Camden, New Brunswick and Newark. Voting will take place over a ten-day period.
A spokeswoman told the Asbury Park Press Rutgers remains committed to good faith bargaining, and, "We are hopeful that agreements with all of our unions can be reached as quickly as possible."
While unions have authorized job actions in the past, an actual strike would be the first in Rutgers' history.