Rutgers, Unions Reach Tentative Final Agreement
Rutgers professors, lecturers, clinicians, and graduate students could begin voting on a new contract as early as this week.
Union leaders approved final contract language on Sunday.
The rank-and-file vote is the final step to officially ending the first strike in Rutgers' 257-year history.
Gov. Phil Murphy summoned both sides to his office on April 10 after union members hoisted picket signs for historic job action. The strike canceled classes for most of the school's 67,000 students just as preparations for final exams were beginning.
The walk-out lasted five days before the framework of a deal was hammered out in Trenton.
Despite the framework, the final details came slowly.
In the end, the union is boasting of hard-won victories in terms of salary and job security for part-time lecturers and adjunct professors.
Many believe those changes could be used as a framework for negotiations at other public colleges and universities. Adjunct professors have historically been paid far less than tenured professors and often have to reapply for their jobs every semester.
Rutgers adjuncts will also now have access to health care coverage.
Murphy praised the agreement in a statement Sunday night.
"Ensuring Rutgers faculty are respected and fairly compensated will result in a better educational experience for students, " Murphy said.
Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway also praised the agreement. "Reaching this point today is recognition that we can come together and work through our differences for the good of the university," Holloway said in a statement.
It's not clear when voting to approve the deal will begin, but union leaders said Sunday it would be in "a matter of days."