Summary of Opening Bargaining Proposals by the Rutgers AAUP-AFT

Bargaining for the FT/Grad Union began on May 17, 2022, with several members of the PTL bargaining team sitting at the table during negotiations.

Below is a summary of bargaining proposals submitted to management by the Rutgers AAUP-AFT—the bullet points are linked to pdfs of proposed contract language. Proposals marked with an asterisk (*) have not been submitted and will be added to this summary as they become available.

1. Promoting Equity

Consistent with President Holloway’s vision of a “beloved community,” the Rutgers AAUP-AFT proposals are designed to promote diversity, fairness, and justice by expanding protections against discrimination, ensuring pay equity, establishing a diversity graduate dissertation fellowship program, and providing exceptional service awards to full- and part-time faculty who demonstrate a commitment to issues faced by our diverse student population. Crucially, the Union’s proposals also provide for equity for adjunct faculty, recognizing their critical and indispensable role in the education of undergraduate and graduate students.

2. One Union: All Persons Performing Unit Work Should Be in the Same Unit

The core academic mission of the University – educating undergraduates and graduates and contributing to the body of knowledge through scholarship and research – is advanced by full-time faculty and librarians, adjunct faculty, postdoctoral associates, teaching assistants, graduate assistants, and other doctoral students. Therefore, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, the AAUP-BHSNJ and the Part-time Lecturer Chapter of the AAUP-AFT seek to represent all employees whose primary responsibilities are teaching, research/scholarship, or clinical care in a single bargaining unit that advocates for their common interests, as well as for the interests of their students.

3. Compensation

To ensure Rutgers’ standing and reputation as a leading world-class public research university, Rutgers AAUP-AFT seeks salary increases for full-time and part-time faculty as well as TAs/GAs that keep pace with inflation and support the continued recruitment and retention of faculty and students with outstanding qualifications. 

4. Academic Freedom, Research Support and Enhanced Job Security

With the 1940 Statement of Principles by the American Association of University Professors firmly in mind, Rutgers AAUP-AFT proposes measures designed to strengthen academic freedom by increasing job security protections for non-tenure track faculty through the creation of a pathway to teaching tenure, longer terms for faculty remaining on the non-tenure track, expansion of indemnification to ensure that faculty are able to freely express their views within the context of their discipline, a reliable stream of funding between lapses in research and other grants, and the establishment of a Joint Panel on Academic Freedom.

5. Quality of Work Life

The University’s overall mission is advanced by providing faculty and other employees with opportunities to balance work and non-work life through telework, when appropriate; ensure that the work environment is safe and healthy; afford employees ample parental and medical leave; provide caregiver support to enable faculty to fulfill their professional obligations; and continue the long-standing practice of offering terminal year sabbaticals to faculty who have devoted their careers to educating students, providing service to the University, and expanding scholarship within their discipline.

6. Union Rights

Strong unions promote workplace democracy and a beloved community. The proposals referenced below help ensure that Rutgers AAUP-AFT provides responsible and effective representation to its members.

7. For the Good of Our Community – A Shared Vision

Our University community is strengthened when we partner to address interests that extend to the needs of our students and our neighboring communities. Measures that protect the environment, address the financial burdens on students, set reasonable rents for University owned residential properties, and establish polling places on each campus are part of a broader progressive agenda.

In addition, building and sustaining a community demands that we identify financial and budget priorities to serve our collectively held values. The University’s RCM model of budgeting distributes resources inequitably and devalues disciplines and programs that do not function as profit centers. RCM also deprives departments and programs based in Camden of vital resources. A new or drastically overhauled budgeting model is necessary to correct these inequities and to reestablish and realign the University’s priorities to be consistent with its academic mission and its goal of achieving excellence among its peer public research institutions.