Rutgers University has been rocked by its first-ever faculty members’ strike, halting classes and research across its campuses as 9,000 employees walked off the job Monday, and hundreds of educators, staff, and students, took to picket lines across three campuses.
“We are standing our ground. It’s been decades and decades of using cheap labor to teach students. The turnover so high, the pay is so poor,” Rutgers adjunct faculty union president Amy Higer said.
The walkout comes after nearly a year of bargaining between the university and three unions representing educators, researchers, and clinicians failed to produce an agreement.
The Rutgers AAUP-AFT (American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers), the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union (PTLFC-AAUP-AFT), and the AAUP-BHSNJ (American Association of University Professors–Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey) are demanding a single contract and a set of common demands that include better pay and benefits, job security, and more equitable distribution of resources across the university.
The Rutgers AAUP-AFT alone represents more than 5,000 full-time faculty, graduate workers, postdoctoral associates, and Educational Opportunity Fund counselors. The Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union represents around 2,700 Part-Time Lecturers, while the AAUP-BHSNJ represents 1,300 health science faculty in RBHS facilities and schools.
Faculty members and students are showing their support for the striking workers. “I stand in solidarity with the striking faculty members, and I support their right to protest for better wages, job security, and resources,” said Rutgers student, John Smith.
The strike has disrupted classes and research across the university, with many students and faculty members expressing frustration with the situation.
“It’s disappointing to see our education being disrupted by the strike, but I understand why the faculty members are doing this,” said Rutgers student, Mary Johnson.
The faculty members’ strike has also garnered national attention, with many organizations and politicians expressing their support for the striking workers.
“Solidarity with the faculty members striking at Rutgers University,” tweeted Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a U.S. Representative from New York.
Negotiations between the university and the unions are ongoing, with both sides expressing a willingness to reach a resolution. However, the striking workers have vowed to continue their protest until their demands are met.
The Rutgers University faculty members’ strike is a significant moment in the university’s history, and its outcome will have far-reaching implications for the future of labor relations and education in the United States.
In a show of solidarity, three unions at Rutgers University have joined forces to push for a single contract and a set of common demands. The unions, representing educators, researchers, and clinicians, have gone on strike in order to secure better working conditions and pay.
The Rutgers AAUP-AFT, which represents over 5,000 full-time faculty, graduate workers, postdoctoral associates, and Educational Opportunity Fund counselors, has led the charge in the strike. They have been joined by the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union (PTLFC-AAUP-AFT), which represents some 2,700 part-time lecturers, and AAUP-BHSNJ (American Association of University Professors–Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey), which represents 1,300 health science faculty in RBHS facilities and schools.
The strike began after months of negotiations between the unions and Rutgers administration failed to yield a satisfactory agreement. The unions are pushing for better wages and benefits, improved job security, and a more equitable distribution of resources across the university.
“We’re here to demand a fair and just contract for all Rutgers workers,” said Rutgers AAUP-AFT President, Deepa Kumar. “We’re tired of being undervalued and underpaid. It’s time for the administration to take our demands seriously and work with us to create a better future for everyone at Rutgers.”
The strike has affected classes and research at Rutgers, with some students and faculty members expressing frustration with the disruption. However, many students and faculty have expressed support for the striking workers, recognizing the importance of fair treatment for all workers in the university community.
“We stand in solidarity with our striking colleagues,” said Rutgers student, Ashley Jones. “Their fight is our fight, and we won’t rest until everyone at Rutgers is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
Negotiations between the unions and Rutgers administration are ongoing, with both sides expressing a willingness to reach a resolution. In the meantime, the striking workers continue to demand fair treatment and better conditions for all workers at Rutgers University.