The three Rutgers University unions that went on strike together last month announced Monday that their members have overwhelmingly approved new contracts.
The unions paused their weeklong walkout in mid-April after bargainers reached “framework” deals containing significant raises. But bargaining continued, and members still had to vote on the resulting tentative agreements.
The unions represent part-time lecturers, health-care faculty, full-time faculty, graduate student workers, postdoctoral associates and counselors. The union members OK’d five tentative agreements, each with over 90 percent approval rates, the unions announced in a news release.
“This vote is the culmination of months of intense efforts by so many people who walked the picket lines and organized with their colleagues,” said Rebecca Givan, president of the group representing full-time faculty, counselors, grad workers and postdoc associates, in the release.
“Because of this commitment by our members, we made major gains in these contracts, especially for the most vulnerable and lowest-paid of the people we represent,” she said. “We didn’t win everything we wanted. But what we did achieve is a testament to all of us, and we’re proud of it.”
The university, in a statement Monday, said, “We are pleased that the university and our faculty union members have agreed to four-year contracts that provide substantial salary increases for full-time faculty, graduate assistants, teaching assistants and others. With the union members’ ratification announced today, the approved contracts also include new compensation programs for our medical school faculty and provide both salary increases and job security for our part-time lecturers, who will now be referred to as ‘lecturers.’”
“We are grateful to all those whose hard work contributed to reaching this agreement, and we thank Governor [Phil] Murphy, his staff and state-appointed mediators who helped the university and the unions resolve differences on key issues and enable us all once again to focus on the academic enterprise that is the heart of this remarkable university,” the university said.