Takeaway: The S2747/A4164 joint bill to fix the fringe rate is set for a full vote tomorrow in both the State Senate and General Assembly. If you haven’t already, click here to send a message to your legislators asking them to vote “yes”!
Our effort to win legislation to permanently fix New Jersey’s inflated fringe benefit rate is nearing success! We need one last push before tomorrow’s full Senate and Assembly votes.
Yesterday, Senate Bill 2747—legislation our unions helped shape to fix the fringe rate and save research at Rutgers—passed unanimously (13-0) in the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, including the votes of Senate President Scutari and Majority Leader Ruiz. That was the last of four committee votes in the Senate and Assembly needed before the twin pieces of legislation—A4164 in the Assembly, S2747 in the Senate—come to a full vote tomorrow in the 80-member Assembly and 40-member Senate, sending the legislation to the governor’s desk. Each vote so far has been unanimous.
We want legislators across the state to understand why they should vote “yes” on A4164/S2747. So if you haven’t already, click here to send a message to the Senator and two Assembly members who represent your district if you live in New Jersey. If you don’t live in New Jersey, you can still help our effort by sending a message to Senate President Scutari and Assembly Speaker Coughlin.
The ballooning fringe benefit rate in New Jersey is more than double or even triple what researchers at other institutions pay. If we don’t fix the fringe rate permanently, we’ll lose out on more grant funds, and talented young researchers will begin their careers elsewhere.
Fixing the fringe rate is tied to our other efforts to save research at Rutgers. We are pressuring the administration to honor the contract language we won requiring central funding of raises for researchers represented by our union if they aren’t already budgeted for; click here to send a message to top management. We are also planning to press the administration to stop requiring Principal Investigators to pay for Graduate Assistants’ tuition out of grant funds, another common complaint we hear from members. Tuition remission for graduate workers is standard practice across the university. It shouldn’t be any different for grant-funded GAs.
The first step in our wider fight is fixing the fringe rate. Please help us by sending a message to New Jersey legislators today!
Rutgers AAUP-AFT and AAUP-BHSNJ