The depth of feeling among faculty and graduate employees of Rutgers University over contract negotiations was signaled this week when 88 percent of members represented by the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers authorized their union’s leadership to call a strike if contract negotiations hit a wall. It would be the first strike in the university’s 253-year history.
The AAUP-AFT, which represents 4,800 full-time faculty and graduate workers, is looking for pay equity for part-time faculty, female faculty, and those who are teaching in Rutgers’ Newark and Camden campuses. It also wants more full-time faculty and librarians to be hired to improve the student/faculty ratio; more teaching assistantships; and a more diverse faculty. It’s also looking for salary increases and longer, more secure contracts.