NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Rutgers University’s administration appears poised to go to war with unions representing their faculty and staff. In a surprising move this month, the University’s Board of Governors in effect voted to punish unionized workers by granting raises and bonuses to non-union employees only this year.
Saying they didn’t want the unions’ negotiation strategy to affect their non-union workforce, Rutgers University’s Board of Governors voted to give modest raises and holiday bonuses to roughly 2,300 non-union employees at their regular meeting this month.
A memo written by Richard Edwards, the interim executive vice president of academic affairs for Rutgers, was quoted by the Newark Star-Ledger saying, “The increases are comparable to to those already offered to, but thus far rejected by our unions.”
The holiday bonuses of $500 were included in paychecks issued on Friday December 23. The raises are retroactive to April 2011, and additional raises of approximately 2% were scheduled for the next 18 months, according to the article in the Star-Ledger.
Unionized employees at Rutgers have gone without raises for two years, as part of an ongoing contractual dispute with the administration.
Most who attended the Board of Governors meeting on December 16 to speak against the move were not permitted to speak because the agenda item “Overview of the University Budget” was postponed to the board’s next meeting, according to the article. Members of the public are required to sign up to speak in advance of the board’s meeting, and most had signed up to speak on that agenda item.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.