UPDATE: Good news! New Jersey legislators have heard our pleas, and legislation to fix the inflated fringe rate that harms research at Rutgers is scheduled for a hearing and vote in the Assembly Higher Education Committee on Monday, June 5! We’re thus moving our previously scheduled speakout and press event. Join us at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 5, at the Statehouse (125 State St.) in Trenton. Click here if you want to meet at 8:30 a.m. at 11 Stone Street in New Brunswick to carpool to Trenton.
WTF? What’s the Fringe?
Rutgers researchers must pay a shockingly high fringe benefit rate on every grant awarded to them, to subsidize the state pension fund PERS, which does not even apply to our employees. This rate is set by the State of New Jersey and has ballooned more than 20% in the last 4 years to 68% this year—more than double or even triple what researchers at other institutions pay, giving them more funds to invest in projects and personnel.
Our unions have been working on fixing the fringe rate for some time. In the past three years, we’ve won tens of millions of dollars in extra state funding to offset the impact. But it’s time for a permanent fix. State Senator Zwicker, a physicist at Princeton University, and Assemblyman Benson have sponsored legislation that would require the state to determine a separate fringe rate for research institutions that reflects the actual cost of benefits administered through the state. Click here to track the progress of the bills through the legislature.
We’re asking all the educators, researchers, librarians, and clinicians at Rutgers to help us get this legislation passed:
- First, if you haven’t already, send an email to the Senate President and Assembly Speaker asking them to support this bill now. Click here to send a message. If you’re a researcher and have felt the impact of the inflated fringe rate, feel free to add a personal story.
- Second, join us to speak to legislators at the Statehouse (125 State St.) in Trenton on Monday, June 5, at 9:30 a.m. when legislation to permanently fix this threat to research at Rutgers comes up for a vote in the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Click here if you want to meet at 8:30 a.m. to carpool from New Brunswick to Trenton.
Mike, Becky, Amy, and Cathy
Michael Matise, PI Working Group, Bargaining Committee member and Council Representative, AAUP-BHSNJ
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Amy Higer, President, Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union
Dr. Catherine Monteleone, President, AAUP-BHSNJ