Rutgers Wants NJ Taxpayers to Pay For New Contracts After Strike
Substantial pay increases for faculty are a key outcome of an unprecedented week-long strike at Rutgers University and New Jersey taxpayers will more than likely have to pick up part of the tab.
Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway confirmed that the university would probably ask for more funding at a Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee meeting Tuesday. But he said he couldn't say how much the school would need until the final agreement is approved by union members.
"There is always a possibility this will not be ratified. To give you a number now would be premature," Holloway said.
The union said on social media that ratification ballots went out on Thursday. A vote is expected before noon Monday.
Committee Chair Sen. Paul Sarlo, D-Bergen, said that, while he supports collective bargaining, he has concerns.
"I am concerned [about] the precedent and the amount of dollars that are going to be needed from this body in the future to help solve some of these collective bargaining issues."
Rutgers professors and faculty had never gone on strike in the school's 257-year history until last month. Union leaders on Sunday approved the language for a final contract.
"In general we have agreed to across-the-board raises for our full-time and part-time faculty and for our graduate assistants and teaching assistants," Halloway said of the deal. "The agreement also provides an enhanced degree of job security for our lecturers."
The overall cost of the deal to the university remains unknown. It's also not clear how Rutgers would decide which costs it would ask taxpayers to cover.
In an announcement last month, Holloway revealed that pay for full-time faculty and Educational Opportunity Fund counselors would go up by at least 14% by July 1, 2025. The per-credit salary rate for part-time lecturers is also expected to increase by nearly 44%, according to the tentative agreement.
Salary increases and other changes are also included in the agreement for post-docs, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants.
An update from Holloway on Sunday confirmed that the pay increases would be retroactive to July 1, 2022.