Raises for Rutgers faculty and staff in the Coalition of Rutgers Unions (CRU) have been pushed back for a second time, according to a statement from the Rutgers American Association of University Professors — American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT).
The CRU sent a petition to University President Jonathan Holloway and the Rutgers administration which called on them to pay the raises on time and contains more than 1,500 signatures.
These raises were originally canceled due to the University’s declaration of a fiscal emergency but renegotiated by the CRU to be paid in full as part of a larger agreement involving participation in a work-sharing program.
These payments were deferred last year to July 1 of this year, but the unions recently received notice that faculty and staff would not receive their raises until August. The CRU was told the delay is due to University Human Resources becoming preoccupied by the work-sharing program, according to the statement.
Emails to Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness Vivian Fernández received an automatic response that she was away on vacation, according to the CRU. The Daily Targum could not reach Fernández for comment.
“It took (nine) months of work through multiple delays by management to negotiate an agreement to defer our raises until July 1 and agree to a work-share program where many of our members are still struggling to receive unemployment benefits,” said Christine O’Connell, president of the Union of Rutgers Administrators — American Federation of Teachers. “It is unacceptable that Rutgers chooses to not implement our raises on time and meet their deadline that impacts over 10,000 employees.”
Rebecca Givan, president of the AAUP-AFT, said the raises will be paid without interest, meaning Rutgers employees are being made to give the University an interest-free loan. This amounts to approximately $1 million, according to a message to union members.
The first paycheck for employees after the raise if implemented on time was scheduled for today, Givan said.
“If the University wants to prioritize respect for the people who work for her, and demonstrate that it lives up to signed agreements, it can still right this wrong,” she said. “It’s not too late. We’ll be using our arbitration procedure to try to enforce our signed agreement. Many of our members are calling for further actions and believe that the administration needs to take responsibility for its inability to perform its basic functions, and for disrespecting the community.”
Holloway said in an email to the CRU that the University would have accelerated the time it takes to include the raises in employee paychecks if it could. He said this is currently not possible, but all workers will receive their raises eventually.