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Mon Mar 23, 2015, 09:24 PM

Solidarity wins at Rutgers

Faculty and graduate employees at Rutgers University have won a strong contract, reports Sherry Wolf, the lead organizer for the AAUP-AFT at the school.

Some 4,700 full-time faculty and graduate employees at Rutgers University overcame an intransigent management to win a tentative contract agreement that includes dramatic wage increases for those at the lowest ranks and a substantial modification of management's coveted "subject to" clause used to freeze wages in 2010.

"Membership activism provided the leverage our negotiating team needed to successfully revise management's 'subject to' clause in order to guarantee our raises cannot be frozen at whim. While we were not able to achieve all of our goals, on balance we think this is a good contract," wrote Professor Lisa Klein, president of the Rutgers chapter of the American Association of University Professionals-American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT).

Highlights of the agreement include a 43 percent increase in minimum wages for non-tenure track faculty, from $39,058 to $56,169 on July 1, 2017 and rising minimums for tenure-track assistant professors, from $44,839 to $61,786. All told, 60 percent of the faculty will receive increases greater than the 8.25 percent average over the life of the 46-month contract (backdated to September 2014).

Health care rates are capped, and graduate student employees who currently earn one of the highest incomes in the country for teaching and graduate assistants will get a Professional Development Fund starting at $525,000, and going up to $825,000 by 2018.

Read more: http://socialistworker.org/2015/03/23/solidarity-wins-at-rutgers

Cross-posted in the Labor Movement Group.

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