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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Labor

Rutgers, unions reach tentative deal to end strike

Rutgers University has reached a tentative agreement with unions to end a historic strike and resume classes next week, officials said.

After five days of bargaining, the two sides announced an agreement early Saturday morning.

Gov. Phil Murphy, who stepped in early this week to force them to the negotiating table, and Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway called it a “fair and equitable” resolution that raises wages and benefits and improves working conditions for faculty.

The three striking unions said in an email obtained by POLITICO that they secured “profound victories” for students and faculty members ranging from pay increases to teaching conditions.

“This framework sets a new standard. Our members have struck to transform higher education in the State of New Jersey and across this country,” Becky Givan, president of the union Rutgers AAUP-AFT, said in a statement through Murphy’s office.

“The framework we have agreed to today sets in place unprecedented gains for contingent workers, graduate students, and our communities. We look forward to working together with the university to realize President Holloway’s vision of a beloved community. We would not have gotten here without our members’ commitment and the support of our governor.”

According to Holloway’s office, the agreement would:

The contracts would be retroactive to July 1, 2022, according to Rutgers. 
The agreement must be voted on to ratify the contract. In the internal union email, the unions said there are still some “open issues” to be resolved.

“However, the framework shows the vital progress we have made on the core issues we prioritized during this contract campaign,” the email said.

The unions — representing about 9,000 full- and part-time faculty, researchers and graduate students — suspended plans to strike next week. They credited the strike with putting pressure on the school to reach this point.

The strike was the first in Rutgers’ 257-year history.

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