AAUP-AFT labor union reaches contract with Rutgers granting pay increases.


Byline: David Hutter

Rutgers University has reached an agreement with faculty labor union AAUP-AFT on a four-year contract that provides increases in salaries for faculty members, graduate assistants and teaching assistants.


This comes after hundreds of their members threatened to strike in recent months. Negotiations began about one year and two months ago.

Rutgers established a process to address instances of salary inequity, allowing for longer term appointments for non-tenure track faculty and recognizing the more than $40 million in funding that Rutgers President Robert Barchi previously committed to enhance diversity hiring, Vivian Fernndez, Rutgers University senior vice president of human resources and organizational effectiveness, said in a letter provided to NJBIZ.

The agreement must still be ratified by the more than 4,000-member faculty union, Fernandez said. Rutgers has over the last nine months reached agreements with other employee unions, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 888; the Fraternal Order of Police Local 164; the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 68; Teamsters Local 97; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 1761; Fernndez said.

The compensation package in the four-year agreement mirrors that which was reached with other unions and provides increases of 3 percent in each of the first three years and 2.5 percent in the final year, she said. The agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2018; covered employees will receive retroactive payments once the contract is ratified, she said.

The agreement establishes a pay equity review process that allows faculty to submit requests for salary adjustments where instances of inequity can be demonstrated, including based on gender, race or other factors, according to Fernndez.

Teaching assistants and graduate assistants will receive market salary adjustments of $2,600 over two years ($1,000 retroactive and $1,600 beginning on July 1, 2019) in order to attract and retain the highest quality graduate students and teaching assistants, she said.

Experienced non-tenure track faculty members may be eligible for longer term appointments under the agreement.

The agreement recognizes the university's diversity hiring program. Earlier this month, Barchi announced that he has already added $20 million in strategic funding to extend the Rutgers Faculty...

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