Classes are set to resume Monday after Rutgers University and its faculty reached an agreement to end a weeklong strike, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced early Saturday morning.
“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,” Murphy said.
The strike on three campuses began Monday after nearly a year of gridlocked contract negotiations. It involved about 9,000 faculty and staff, and was the first strike in the state university’s history of almost 257 years.
Strikers wanted salary increases, improved job security for adjunct faculty, and guaranteed funding for graduate students, among other points.
School and labor union officials said the “framework” agreement was great progress. It still must be approved by union members.
“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,” Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said.
The unions involved are the Rutgers American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers, which represents full-time faculty, graduate workers, postdoctoral researchers and counselors; the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, which represents part-time lecturers; and the American Association of University Professors-Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey, which represents faculty who teach at the university’s medical and public health facilities.
“We are extremely pleased that we reached what we believe is the basis for a transformative contract for part-time faculty at Rutgers,” Amy Higher, president of the Adjunct Faculty Union, said. “Most of all, we are eager to get back to teaching our students and helping them finish up spring semester.”