U. administration, 3 faculty unions reach tentative agreement after months of negotiations
On Sunday, three faculty unions and the University reached a tentative agreement regarding labor contracts, according to a statement from University President Jonathan Holloway.
The agreement comes after months of negotiations between the parties and a historic five-day strike organized by members of the Rutgers chapter of the American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT), the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union (PTLFC) and the American Association of University Professors at the Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey (AAUP–BHSNJ).
The agreement's framework for the new labor contracts includes a financial compensation initiative, back pay for certain faculty members and the formalized changing of the term "part-time lecturer" to "lecturer."
Holloway said the agreement also introduces new pay programs for medical school faculty and increased job security for lecturers. The unions' executive councils have already agreed to the terms of the tentative agreement but in order for it to be formally adopted, union members must ratify it as well, he said.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) said he is grateful for the work done by Holloway, union leadership and the University faculty in coming to this agreement.
"As one of the nation's leading universities, Rutgers has long been a source of pride for our state. Ensuring Rutgers faculty are respected and fairly compensated will result in a better educational experience for students, educators and staff," Murphy said.
Holloway said he is thankful for reaching a resolution to negotiations and hopes to address issues with other non-faculty labor contracts as quickly as possible.
"Reaching this point today is a recognition that we all can come together and work through our differences for the good of the University," he said. "It is also a testament to the leadership of (Gov. Murphy), who brought all sides together when progress had stalled."
The three faculty unions also released a joint statement with documents summarizing tentative agreement frameworks for lecturers, full-time faculty, graduate workers and winter and summer session instructors.
The statement explained that each of the three unions will hold interactive town halls during the week, with at least one being live-streamed on Zoom to highlight major takeaways from the agreement. As for ratifying the agreement, union members will begin voting this week.
The unions ended the statement with remarks on past efforts and hopes for future negotiations.
"We're proud of what we achieved by going on strike and joining together for the Rutgers we and our students deserve. We believe these are strong contracts that make numerous advances for our members," the statement read. "We didn't win everything we asked for and deserve, but no labor contract ever does. We will continue fighting for a better Rutgers starting the day after we have a ratified contract."