Our union coalition partner, the Rutgers AAUP-AFT faculty, have reached a tentative agreement for a new contract with Rutgers. Their agreement includes an important provision to protect raises that we too have been fighting for in our contract. Winning this provision was necessary due to the University’s decision to freeze wages in 2010. While the University just announced contract agreements with two small staff unions – CWA 1040 (professional staff in the state corrections system) and IUOE 68 (skilled maintenance workers) – which don’t contain this provision, we are encouraged by the AAUP-AFT agreement and will continue to work with other unions in the Rutgers Coalition to achieve this vital provision.
Our fight is not over. The 2,500 hard-working professionals and registered nurses who became Rutgers employees during the recent reorganization with UMDNJ deserve that same commitment from Rutgers. We need a contract that both recognizes our value to the University and brings us in alignment with faculty and other staff.
There are a number of outstanding issues at our bargaining table including, tuition, job security, benefit time and wages. However, if the key provisions of the faculty agreement can be applied to our contract, we are confident that we can reach a fair agreement with management. Negotiations are scheduled again on March 23rd. We will continue to coordinate our efforts with the other staff and faculty unions until a fair contract can be reached for all.
I would further like to commend those members who braved the traffic and the rain on Tuesday evening to rally in Newark for a fair contract. It is members who are willing to take action that give our negotiating committee the power we need to bargain with management and build the pressure we need to achieve a fair settlement.