On April 30, 2023 the leadership of the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union Voted to recommend a Tentative Agreement to membership for Ratification.
Read the highlights for the Adjunct Faculty Union’s tentative agreement here.
Read the highlights of all three faculty unions’ tentative agreements here.
This contract isn’t the end of our organizing. In fact, the gains we have made now lay the groundwork for even stronger wins in the future. You can support our efforts by joining a committee meeting. See the “Get Involved” page for more details, and stay tuned for updates!
Follow along with our individual bargaining updates in the News section of our website.
our Campaign Timeline
Rutgers moved all in-person classes online, and nearly 1,800 adjunct faculty members spent spring break transitioning their courses online—with no extra compensation.
Rutgers announced a hiring freeze on all adjunct faculty for fall 2020, essentially issuing a lay-off notice to 3,000 teachers. Rutgers did not provide a reason for this hiring freeze.
Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union launched an online petition calling on Rutgers to rescind the hiring freeze, demanding Rutgers give uninsured adjuncts access to Rutgers’s healthcare facilities, and asking for $1,250 compensation for the rapid transition to remote instruction. This petition garnered over 3,500 signatures.
Rutgers announced a 5-10 percent reduction in athletic coaches’ pay over the course of four months. At least four of Rutgers’s football coaches make over $1,000,000 a year.
The Adjunct Faculty Union invited incoming President Jonathan Holloway to a virtual Town Hall. President Holloway states that he would like to “do something about the problem of ‘adjunctification’ at Rutgers.”
The New Brunswick Writing Program announced the layoffs of dozens of PTLs. Rutgers lays off a total of 400 PTLs overall. Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway intervened, reinstating 19 adjunct faculty members.
Adjunct Faculty Union Board Member Karen Thompson sent an email to Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prabhas Moghe, urging him to remind departments that applications for hardware and software related to transitioning to remote teaching would be reimbursed through the Professional Development Fund for adjunct faculty. Dr. Moghe responds that he will, calling reimbursing adjuncts for essential equipment an “important cause.”
The Adjunct Faculty Union invited Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Prabhas Moghe, to a virtual Town Hall. Adjunct faculty members shared with Dr. Moghe the hardship of late appointment letters. Dr. Moghe promises the university will do better.
January 2022 Update: Dozens of adjunct faculty members write the union informing us that they have not received their appointment letters for the spring semester.
Our union voted on a vaccine mandate for everyone on Rutgers campuses and in all of its facilities. The university ignored our demands for a vaccine mandate.
Rutgers reached out to the adjunct faculty union, and several other Rutgers unions, with a proposal that we extend our contract deadline for two years in exchange for a salary increase of 2.5% per year. This raise amounted to less than the cost of living, even before accounting for levels of record inflation.
The Coalition of Rutgers Unions (CRU) initiates negotiations with the university on a contract extension for ALL Rutgers’ unions whose contract expires this summer. The CRU proposed an innovative counteroffer to the university, in which adjunct faculty raises would be aligned in proportion to full-time non-tenure faculty salaries.
After ignoring our union’s August vote on a vaccine mandate for everyone at Rutgers, the administration responds to an executive order from President Biden and requires that all university employees be fully vaccinated by December 8, 2021.
University responds to an innovative CRU contract extension proposal that would provide significant raises for PTLs with essentially the same proposal it made in August. Contract extension negotiations stall.
The Adjunct Faculty Union held its first “Week of Action,” mobilizing dozens of faculty members across all three Rutgers campuses for a teach-in. PTLs spent 5 minutes at the beginning of each class educating and building solidarity with their students around adjunct labor conditions and how these affect their students’ education.
Adjunct Faculty members stood with Rutgers-Camden campus after their Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Howard Marchitello, was unjustly fired for speaking out against the underfunding of the Camden campus and chronic pay inequities among full-time faculty. The Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union condemned this retaliatory layoff and the ongoing disinvestment in our Camden colleagues and students.
The Adjunct Faculty Union Executive Board sent an email to EVPAA Dr. Moghe, alerting him to the compensation other public universities are paying to adjunct faculty for teaching under hardship during the pandemic. This list includes California State University, which compensated every part-time faculty member $3,500.
Dr. Moghe responded by saying that he added money to the PDF fund, provided long-serving adjunct faculty with jobs,* and will soon announce an adjunct faculty teaching award—one with no compensation attached.
*This is untrue. This is in the 2018-2022 adjunct faculty contract.
On February 23, the Adjunct Faculty Union launched its card campaign to merge with the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, which represents full-time faculty, graduate workers, postdoctoral associates, and counselors, as well as AAUP-BHSNJ, which represents Biomedical and Health Sciences faculty. The campaign seeks to form ONE FACULTY UNION, increasing faculty power at the bargaining table. See merger FAQ here.
On March 25, 2022 the Rutgers University Senate passed with overwhelming support a resolution to recommend the following for PTLs: equal pay for equal work, full-time status, job security, and health benefits. The resolution passed by acclamation, which means there were no questions or objections.
May 17, 2022, the Full-Time/Grad Union (Rutgers AAUP-AFT) opened it’s first virtual bargaining session with administration. A large group of PTL colleagues were in attendance. Among the opening proposals presented in this session was the demand for the merger campaign to be recognized and for the Adjunct Faculty Union, BHSNJ, and AAUP-AFT become one bargaining unit.
On May 18, 2022, union presidents Amy Higer (Rutgers PTLFC) and Becky Givan (Rutgers AAUP-AFT) presented merger cards to President Holloway’s office. The merger card campaign ended with a majority of PTLs signing in support of a merger with the Full-time/Grad union.
The first bargaining session for our new contract took place on Monday, June 13. The summary of open bargaining proposals can be found here.
A special joint bargaining session devoted to the #OneFaculty merger campaign was held on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Read the takeaways from that session here.
Our third bargaining session took place on Monday, July 18, 2022. Our bargaining team devoted this session to powerful presentations on Article 4 (“Salary”) which showcased our plan for Equal Pay for Equal Work. Read the bargaining summary here and the special podcast episode on the session here.
November 11, 2022
After months of delay and emails arguing the limitations on bargaining participant size, Rutgers management provided our union with bargaining dates, including a closed session on November 11. However, just days before the session, management’s negotiating team abruptly changed the date and pushed bargaining back to November 17. We have a small bargaining session planned for Friday, 11/17 and a large session scheduled for Monday, 11/21.
January 26, 2023
Since the start of the semester, our union has had two small and one large bargaining sessions. Though there has been some movement towards reaching a tentative agreement on smaller articles, such as the Professional Development Fund, we had heard barely any response on our core demands for Equal Pay for Equal Work, Job Security, and Health Care until management’s counter on Article 4 (Fractional Appointments) which is scheduled to be discussed on January 27. Management’s counter was for a pay raise of only $100 per course, vastly below our transformational demand for pay parity with NTT faculty.
February 28, 2023
Both faculty unions (Rutgers AAUP-AFT, which represents full-time faculty, graduate workers, postdocs, and counselors, and Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union) launched a strike authorization vote. This vote allows the workers to express whether or not they want to go on strike. To be successful, at least 2/3rds of those who vote must vote “yes”. A successful vote, however, does not mean a strike is inevitable. It just means the workers are ready to strike if necessary. The vote window lasted for 12 days. During that time, hundreds of member organizers spoke to colleagues by email, text, phone, and face to face to get out the vote.
March 2, 2023
All Rutgers unions bargaining new contracts were summoned to a special negotiating session, at which the administration promised to offer a “significant” improvement to the pathetic salary proposal they made in December. The University’s “significant” movement took place to the right of the decimal point: a 3% salary increase (instead of 2.25%) in the first year of the contract, plus a 1% one-time lump sum payment; a 2.75% increase (instead of 2%) in the second year; and a 2.5% increase (instead of 2%) in the third and fourth years.
The bargaining teams of all Rutgers unions rightly saw this proposal as a significant wage cut for all workers once inflation is taken into account, and does nothing to address the very real inequities in PTL and graduate worker pay. On top of this, the administration wanted to defer raises each year—by three months instead of six—so worker’s raise for this year is back to 2.25 percent. Anger at this salary proposal increased support for the ongoing strike authorization vote.
March 10, 2023
The strike authorization vote ended at 1pm on March 10, 2023. Our members spoke loud and clear: over 94 percent of those who cast a ballot on strike authorization voted YES. Eighty percent of membership across both faculty unions participated, far surpassing any previous turnout for our two unions. This result grants the leadership of both unions the power to call for a strike if necessary.
April 9, 2023
The elected leadership bodies of the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, AAUP-AFT, and AAUP-BHSNJ voted to strike beginning April 10, 2023.
April 10-14, 2023
The three Rutgers faculty unions went on strike across all Rutgers campuses. Chants across the picket lines called for equal pay for equal work, living wages for graduate workers, and a fair contract now. Governor Murphy became involved by calling the union bargaining teams and Rutgers management to Trenton, where they spent the entirety of the strike in marathon negotiation sessions at the New Jersey statehouse.
April 14, 2023
The leadership bodies of the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, AAUP-AFT, and AAUP-BHSNJ voted to accept a framework for new contracts and to suspend the strike and return to work immediately. The tentative framework outlined huge wins for adjunct faculty in our salary and job security proposals.
April 30, 2023
The leadership bodies of the three faculty unions approved tentative agreements and recommended them to union membership for ratification.
Complete Text of the Finalized Tentative Agreements
- Full-Time Faculty and Graduate Worker Tentative Agreement (including BHSNJ health sciences faculty)
- Postdoctoral Associates and Fellows Tentative Agreement
- EOF Counselors Tentative Agreement
- Winter-Summer Instructors Tentative Agreement
- Adjunct Faculty Tentative Agreement (applying to the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union)