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Rutgers has a priorities crisis

Submitted by cstanford on Thu, 09/18/2014 - 14:25

Barely had a day gone by after we sent you an email outlining management’s Scrooge inspired economic proposal at the negotiating table, when we learned that RU football coach Kyle Flood is to receive a contract extension and raises totaling nearly three and a half million dollars. Congratulations, Kyle, on a well-deserved raise. Now let’s turn to the faculty.
 
Through their distinguished teaching and research, faculty have made Rutgers a top notch AAU public university. And yet, Rutgers faculty make significantly less in salary (CPI adjusted) than their peers at other Big 10 universities. (See Contract Update #4).
 
President Robert Barchi’s strategic planning document states clearly that RU aims to "target academic excellence in our faculty by recruiting and retaining the best individuals" (See page 33 in the Strategic Plan). Yet, Barchi undermines this core commitment by refusing to pay competitive salaries to our faculty.
 
Clearly the problem is priorities, not resources.

Coach Flood’s promised raises of $2,500,000 (on top of the his already hefty salary of $950,000), if matched by a commitment to faculty support could:

  • Add an extra $2,200 to the annual paychecks of every non-tenure track faculty member at Rutgers.
  • Raise TA/GA minimum salaries by nearly $2,000 to help cut down on TA/GA student debt, and to continue attracting the best graduate students to our programs.
  • Raise minimum faculty salaries at RU to $55,000.
  • Double the administration’s current offer of 1% ATB over the life of a three-year proposed contract.

But this is not just about football, it is also about management bloat.  According to the administration’s annual reports, the top 79 administrative positions at Rutgers University bagged a shocking $26 million in 2013 (see pages 78-80 in Dr. Howard Bunsis’ financial analysis of Rutgers).  While management bloat is an issue at most universities, Rutgers has more 6-figure administrators than most other public universities per Dr. Howard Bunsis' forensic analysis.   
 
So when the Barchi team says Rutgers can’t afford to offset the frozen salaries and give us decent across-the-board increases, decrease our health care costs, and create a robust merit raise—we have to call their bluff and demand that we be treated with respect.
 
Join us at these two actions and make your voice heard:
 
1. Thursday, Sept 18 at 9:30-10:30am line the hallways outside room 118 in the Busch Campus Center to establish a visible presence of members, holding signs and reminding Barchi's team that they are talking about the real people whose careers and well-being are at stake. RSVP at aaup@rutgersaaup.org
 
2. Friday, Sept 19 from 12:30-1:30pm, we will establish a visible presence outside the College Ave Campus Center and walk into the Multipurpose Room where Barchi will deliver the "State of the University" address, which is scheduled to begin at 1:10PM.  RSVP to aaup@rutgersaaup.org
 
3. Sign the petition now to Reclaim Rutgers: www.reclaimrutgers.org
 
#ReclaimRutgers Follow AAUP-AFT on Twitter: @ruaaup
www.facebook.com/RutgersAAUPAFT

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