For the first time in the institution’s 257-year history, the Rutgers University faculty is on strike. The strike is in effect as of the morning of Monday, April 10th, and is happening at all three of Rutgers’ campuses. Read on for more about what is happening at Rutgers.
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What to Know
The strike is happening at all three of Rutgers’ campuses — Newark, New Brunswick, and Camden — as of Monday, April 10th, 2023 around 9AM. It was announced after a town hall meeting with faculty on Sunday night by Rutgers AAUP-AFT President Rebecca Givan. The union has since tweeted about it, saying that they will be on strike as of Monday morning.
For the first time in the history of Rutgers University, all three faculty, grad, EOF, and postdoc unions have voted to go on strike. Monday morning, we are ON STRIKE. See you on the picket line. #RUOnStrike pic.twitter.com/APMdFHgpvs
— Rutgers AAUP-AFT Academic Worker Union (@ruaaup) April 10, 2023
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Per Patch, the strike includes part-time and full-time professors, graduate student workers, postdoctoral associates, counselors, and biomedical faculty. Per NorthJersey.com, an email was also sent out to about 8,000 faculty members saying “We ask you to join the picket lines and refuse to conduct teaching, research, and other business as usual at Rutgers.” About 94% of the faculty members belonging to three unions are included in the strike.
The strike comes after a lot of back-and-forths about contract negotiations — including pay, job security, rent freezes, and more. Some of the unionized faculty have said that they have been working for the past nine months without contracts, and there has been no agreement to proposals the unions made last spring.
Rutgers posted online on Sunday night saying that the union action is illegal and that the university may seek an injunction in court to be able to return to normal activity on campus. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy also called on the university and union bargaining committees on Sunday to meet at the statehouse on Monday for a “productive dialogue” and to reach an agreement that is “fair for all parties.”
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As for operating procedures at the university, classes are scheduled, but may not take place. Students have said that some of their classes have been canceled and that they have not heard from their professors about other classes. The strike comes only a few weeks before finals as well as graduation ceremonies at Rutgers campuses.
According to the Rutgers website, “The university is open and operating, and classes are proceeding on a normal schedule.” However, per NJ.com, “The walkout is expected to disrupt the majority of in-person and online classes as students head into their last few weeks of the spring semester before finals and commencement next month.”