NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—AFT President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after 5,000 full-time faculty and graduate employees at Rutgers University won a new tentative agreement after more than a year of bargaining.
“This contract is a paradigm shift at Rutgers. It exemplifies the simple, but powerful, idea at the core of the labor movement: by standing together workers can achieve what would be impossible alone. Theirs was a long, difficult road, but the Rutgers faculty and grads never wavered and never lost faith. After organizing and protesting and picketing and bargaining over clear demands for dignity at work, job security and gender equity, they prevailed—winning a historic agreement that will benefit students and their university for decades to come.
“For the first time, the union won funding—$20 million—for diversity initiatives, anti-harassment language, equal pay for equal work, and a pay raise of more than $4,000 for grads over the course of the contract. And it’s a huge win for students because their learning conditions are faculty’s working conditions. I am so proud of them and know their fight will inspire higher education professionals across to country to fight and win their own battles to improve their lives—and the lives of others—in the streets and at the bargaining table.”