The agreements, which must still be voted on by individual Rutgers labor units, follow months of tense negotiations. (Daniella Heminghaus for New Jersey Monitor)
Rutgers University administrators and faculty unions announced a tentative agreement to end contract negotiations that spawned the first faculty strike in the university’s 257-year history, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway and labor unions announced Sunday.
“Reaching this point today is a recognition that we all can come together and work through our differences for the good of the university,” Holloway said in a letter to the Rutgers community.
The agreements, agreed to by union negotiators Sunday, include sharp pay increases for adjunct faculty, teaching and graduate assistants, and post-doctoral students, whose pay would rise between 27.9% and 43.7% over the next four years if the contract is ratified.
Pay for full-time faculty would rise by 14% over the same period.
“We didn’t win everything we asked for and deserve, but no labor contract ever does,” the Rutgers faculty union said in a message to members.
The agreements, which must still be voted on by individual Rutgers labor units, follow months of tense negotiations that saw both sides sequestered in Trenton to avert lengthy work stoppages at New Jersey’s flagship university. Faculty members went on strike for five days starting on April 10.
If the agreements are approved by members, the university will also adopt new freedom of speech protections, diversity guarantees, and a new appeals process to adjudicate claims of unequal pay.
The agreements would bar the university from declaring a fiscal emergency that could impact faculty pay for the first three years of the contract.
Negotiators have yet to reach a final agreement on health benefits for Rutgers workers.
The union said Sunday votes to ratify the contract would begin later this week.
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