Takeaway: 1) Save the date for our press conference on pay equity before the next Board of Governors meeting: Tuesday, December 7, at 11 a.m. 2) Complete our bargaining survey (if you haven’t already) so we can decide what we’re going to demand in our next contract.
We hope you were able to take some time off over this short break. We’re writing to let you know where things stand with our fight for pay equity across our campuses.
We know our salary equity program can work if it’s implemented fairly. One of our colleagues actually experienced a success story: She submitted her initial application showing she were underpaid by more than 25 percent compared to colleagues of similar experience and achievement. Her dean recommended a significant salary adjustment to achieve equity. Management’s initial recommendation issued in late September cut that equity raise by more than half, thanks to the regression algorithm concocted by the union-busting law firm Jackson Lewis. But this professor appealed the decision, and her chancellor restored the original recommendation: a substantial pay increase and two years of back pay.
This is what pay equity is supposed to look like—the results we expected to see when we fought for the program in our last contract campaign.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen far too few success stories due to manipulation of the program by management and poor implementation mired in delays. Management’s initial decisions shortchanged 103 faculty members by at least $750,000 and probably closer to $1 million in all. We’ve seen the outcome of about half of the chancellor reviews of these cases, and only a handful of unfair decisions have been reversed.
In October, faculty, staff, and students were joined by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg in expressing their disappointment about equity issues to the Board of Governors. President Jonathan Holloway told us back then: “I hear all of you loud and clear, and I am determined that we will address pay equity concerns in a way such that you will not have to come back to the Board of Governors repeating the very powerful and poignant stories and personal sentiments again.”
The Board of Governors meets again next Tuesday, December 7. That’s eight days away—and our concerns still haven’t been addressed.
So we’ll be back at that meeting—to tell the governors that, in the words of Majority Leader Weinberg, “the state’s premier public university [is perpetuating] inequalities. It’s out of step with New Jersey values, and it is also out of step with New Jersey laws.” Please save the date—Tuesday, December 7, at 11 a.m.—and listen to our press conference and then the BoG meeting itself.
This is the last week of our bargaining survey. We know we’re going to need to demand an improved equity program that doesn’t let management shortchange our faculty. What else do you think we need to fight for? We need to know what matters to everyone we represent, whether they’re a member of the union or not. So please complete the survey if you haven’t already. And then talk to your colleagues about why they need to complete it, too.
We hope you had a restful, safe, and enjoyable holiday break. Now we need to win on pay equity and prepare for negotiations.
Becky and Todd
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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