Give staff, faculty fair dues
The recent announcement of an anonymous $27 million gift for endowed chairs at the University is truly stunning news. The University community is incredibly fortunate to have such dedicated supporters. The University press release, however, contains a revealing omission.
In 2009, the faculty and staff unions — the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT), the Union of Rutgers Administrators-American Federation of Teachers (URA-AFT), the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 1761 and AFSCME 888 — at the University voluntarily gave back $40 million in salary money. The gift of $40 million makes the University employees collectively the largest donor to the University in the history of the institution.
In 2009, the faculty and staff supported a new mid-contract agreement with the central administration known as the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The deferral of salary increases resulted in a savings of $40 million over two years. Our generosity allowed the University to receive another $15 million in federal stimulus funds. We leveraged $55 million dollars for the University.
No building was named after the faculty and staff and there was little public notice or praise. We do not need recognition in this way. We seek only fairness.
Instead, our generosity in coming to the aid of the University was repaid by violation of the very agreements the unions entered into to help the University. Today, our salaries remain frozen.
Adrienne Eaton, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Charlesetta Bynes, President, COLT Local 1761 AFSCME
Mike Holland, President, Local 888 AFSCME
Lucye Millerand, President, URA-AFT