Striking Faculty, Rutgers University Reach Tentative Contract Agreement
A tentative agreement was reached early Saturday morning between striking faculty unions and Rutgers University although there are still some issues still to be worked out.
After five days of negotiations described as "intensive" in Gov. Phil Murphy's office, the "framework agreement" was announced by Murphy at 1 a.m.
"I am pleased to share that the Rutgers University and union bargaining committees have come to an agreement. This fair and amicable conclusion respects the interests of many different stakeholders, upholds New Jersey’s values, and puts an end to a standoff that was disruptive to our educators and students alike," Murphy said.
The statement did not disclose the source of funding for pay increases and raises that are retroactive to July 1, 2022 when the union contract with the university ended.
Murphy said classes will resume on Monday although Rutgers never officially cancelled classes during the strike. Union members were told not to teach classes or communicate with students.
Rutgers president Jonathan Holloway said in a statement the agreement provides "fair and equitable wages, benefits, and work conditions for our faculty as well as our graduate students and part-time lecturers."
Union: "Suspension" of Strike
Rutgers AAUP-AFT in its message to members said that while the framework shows "vital progress" on its core issues there are still "open issues" that need to be resolved especially for AAUP-BHSNJ (Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences).
"If we do not secure the gains we need on the open issues through bargaining in the coming days, we can and will resume our work stoppage. We also will continue putting significant pressure on the Rutgers administration to meet our needs, starting with informational pickets next week," the union said.
A date for union membership to vote on the agreement has not been set.
Both Holloway and the union praised Murphy and his staff for their leadership and work to reaching an agreement. LIkewise, the govenor thanked the mediators and representatives for their work.
Holloway said that with an agreement reached the school's registration and exam schedule will proceed as scheduled along with commencement and school convocations.
As for missed school work Holloway urged professors to be flexible in the final days of the semester.
"Instructors will communicate with their students regarding course expectations and any modifications to course plans and assignments and will provide opportunities to make up any missed work," Holloway said in his message.