Rutgers, unions settle strike

Classes on all 3 campuses will resume Monday after agreement brings increased salaries, job security to faculty

An agreement to end the weeklong strike at Rutgers University was reached around midnight Friday night, the school, the unions and Gov. Phil Murphy announced early Saturday morning.

The strike was based mainly around salaries and job security for non-tenure track teachers and instructors (adjunct professors, graduate assistants and teaching assistants).

Final details of the agreement of a new four-year contract still need to be worked out, but all sides said there has been enough progress to ensure the school’s approximately 67,000 students will be able to return to classes Monday on all three campuses.

The details

According to a release by Rutgers just after 1 a.m. Saturday, the following has been agreed upon:

  • Full-time faculty: A 14% increase in salaries by July 1, 2025;
  • Part-time lecturers (adjuncts): A 43.8% increase in the per-credit salary rate for part-time lecturers over the four years of the contract, as well as steps that significantly strengthen their job security;
  • Post-doctoral fellows and associates: A 27.9% minimum salary increase;
  • Teaching assistants/graduate students: In addition to receiving health care coverage and free tuition and fees, will see their 10-month salaries increase to $40,000 over the course of the contract.

In addition, the contracts are retroactive to July 1, 2022, and will provide substantial retroactive salary payments to covered employees.

What they’re saying

  • Murphy: “After five days of intensive dialogue and negotiations in my office, I am pleased to share that the Rutgers University and union bargaining committees have come to an agreement. This fair and amicable conclusion respects the interests of many different stakeholders, upholds New Jersey’s values and puts an end to a standoff that was disruptive to our educators and students alike. I thank our mediators and representatives from all sides for their hard work and I look forward to the tens of thousands of students across the New Brunswick, Newark and Camden campuses resuming their world-class educations on Monday.”
  • Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway: “The framework that was reached today between Rutgers and its faculty unions provides fair and equitable wages, benefits and work conditions for our faculty as well as our graduate students and part-time lecturers. Reaching consensus today comes as a result of the active and engaged leadership of Gov. Murphy, to whom we all are deeply indebted. Most important, closure on this framework will allow the 67,000 students at Rutgers to resume their studies and pursue their academic degrees. Nothing we do is as important as living up to the expectations that our students have of us to be fully supportive of them and nurturing of their academic ambitions and dreams.”
  • Rutgers AAUP-AFT President Becky Givan: “This framework sets a new standard. Our members have struck to transform higher education in the state of New Jersey and across this country. The framework we have agreed to today sets in place unprecedented gains for contingent workers, graduate students and our communities. We look forward to working together with the university to realize President Holloway’s vision of a beloved community. We would not have gotten here without our members’ commitment and the support of our governor.”
  • Adjunct Faculty Union President Amy Higher: “We are extremely pleased that we reached what we believe is the basis for a transformative contract for part-time faculty at Rutgers. We deeply appreciate the governor and his staff’s efforts to help us win gains for which we have been fighting for a long time: multi-semester appointments for hundreds of us, and significantly higher pay for all of us. We still have work to do to come to a full tentative agreement, and we will resume doing so next week. Most of all, we are eager to get back to teaching our students and helping them finish up spring semester.”