Rutgers faculty union secures new contracts after bargaining since 2010
In April, nearly 4,700 full-time faculty and graduate student employees at the University ratified a new contract, said Sherry Wolf, lead organizer of the Rutgers American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT).
After months of bargaining and directing a handful of campus-held protests, more than 97 percent of faculty members covered under the agreement voted to ratify the contract, which was negotiated by the faculty union AAUP-AFT, Wolf said.
Faculty and staff have been fighting for a new contract since 2010, when University administrators instituted a salary freeze, Wolf said. Staff and faculty unions joined forces to "Reclaim Rutgers" after the salary freeze.
The "subject to" clause enabled University management to impose salary freezes based on contingencies or special conditions.
The new contract, which runs through June 30, 2018, will protect AAUP-AFT members from salary freezes and health care rate hikes, guarantee 8.25 percent wage gains on average through the life of the contract, provide raises to faculty at the lower income levels and offer 7,000 graduate student employees a substantial Professional Development Fund.
Faculty at the bottom income levels will receive 43 percent raises, and the minimum wage for 910 non-tenure faculty members increased from a salary of $39,000 to $57,000, Wolf said.
"Together, faculty, staff and students petitioned, rallied and protested to win better terms," she said.