The votes are in, and Rutgers AAUP-AFT members have spoken: we ratified our agreement from the fiscal emergency negotiations by an overwhelming 91 percent margin. The total vote was 1,707 to 178. This is the highest percentage turnout and overall turnout in the history of our union.
This vote is the culmination of a yearlong battle to achieve a people-centered approach to the pandemic crisis. We finally forced management to focus on programs and policies that would protect the most vulnerable. We’ve made strong progress toward our goals of job security for our staff colleagues, a funding extension program for grads, reappointment of laid-off PTLs, and a timetable for getting our deferred raises. Just as importantly, we’ve put ourselves in a better position for future battles.
In return, we agreed to a work-sharing program: beginning in the second half of April, our full-time faculty will furlough for a half-day per week through June under a work-sharing arrangement that protects the full income of almost all. The groundbreaking plan we developed last spring with our Coalition of Rutgers Unions has now been adopted by management to cover the majority of workers at Rutgers—and it will soon be a model for even more.
You’ll hear more from us through the rest of the week about how work-sharing will be implemented. We’ve addressed as many concerns as we could in our Work-Sharing and Furloughs FAQ, but expect a lot more information about the details of applying (and who is ineligible for work-sharing). In addition, grad workers and faculty will keep working together to build on the improvements we won in the funding extension program.
For now, though, we want to celebrate this important step forward that we’ve taken together—as a union and as a Coalition representing 20,000 workers. Thank you for supporting our long and difficult struggle toward a people-centered Rutgers.
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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