April 25, 2019 | 52° F

Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker voice their support for Rutgers AAUP-AFT


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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is currently running for president, is the first national politician to voice support for the faculty union's efforts to defend higher education and their willingness to strike.


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who have announced their candidacy for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, have tweeted their support for the Rutgers American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT) and their strike preparations. 

“I stand with AAUP-AFT Rutgers professors who are prepared to strike in order to defend affordable, quality higher education. When we organize and stand together, we win. #UnionStrong,” read a post on Sanders’ official Twitter account on Monday night. It was then retweeted by the AAUP-AFT’s account. 

Sanders was the first national politician to voice support either way in the ongoing negotiations between the AAUP-AFT and the University. The endorsement came the day before the union was set to picket outside the Rutgers Board of Governors meeting at the Paul Robeson Campus Center in Newark, New Jersey. 

“Educators at every level of our education system deserve better. I support the Rutgers AAUP-AFT in this fight for equality & dignity. Rutgers faculty are on the front lines every day for their students — we should all be united in the movement to support them,” read a post by Booker yesterday. 

The union’s tweets yesterday continued to advocate for greater diversity among faculty, calling for University President Robert L. Barchi to allow faculty governance and best hiring practices. “But who controls the expenditure of these funds and with what guidelines?” read one of union’s posts. 

“It’s important to note that while the University can underwrite recruitment and retention efforts, as it has done, the faculty make the ultimate hiring decisions within their departments and schools. We are working with departments, deans and chairs to ensure that candidate pools include diverse candidates and that our commitment to diversity is a priority,” said Dory Devlin, senior director of University News and Media Relations, to The Daily Targum last month.


Brendan Brightman

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