Takeaway: Management has undermined our salary equity program for more than two years—and they still haven’t issued the first decisions. Enough is enough! We won’t meet with management on this issue until the initial decision letters go out. Let’s send them a message at our in-person, outdoors speakout at the Board of Governors meeting in Camden on Wednesday, October 6, at 12 noon—sign up here if you can attend.
The faculty salary equity program we negotiated to address unfairness on the basis of gender, race, campus, and other categories went into effect over two years ago—and management still hasn’t issued a decision in a single case. We believe management deliberately doctored the pay equity process to justify paying out less to colleagues who have been unfairly undercompensated by the University.
This isn’t equity—or justice. Management needs to immediately issue the first batch of 103 letters from University Compensation Services (UCS) containing the pay adjustments they are recommending to the Chancellors. Once the letters are issued, it will likely be apparent that the negotiated program was improperly manipulated, undermining the objectives of pay equity and fairness.
Until these letters are released, we will not meet with management on this issue!
In the two years that management dragged its feet (on a program they had 90 working days to implement under our contract), Rutgers Athletics lost well over $100 million and rang up even more debt. And as the Daily Targum reported today, management sat on the bulk of the $365 million they got in federal and state COVID relief funds. Meanwhile, our departments and programs were forced to make cuts and impose austerity during the pandemic. And management has refused to invest in pay equity.
Enough is enough.
We have been negotiating about how to implement the salary equity program since President Holloway took office over a year ago. We believe we achieved a transparent, faculty-led appeals process and a clearer system for processing future applications. But during negotiations, we learned of administration practices that we believe are unfair and shortchange many of our members. Our members in Camden are disproportionately affected by these indefensible practices.
We’ll spare you the details (email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to know more), but the long and short of it is this: Applicants chose “comparators” (peers cited as evidence that they are underpaid), which were reviewed, and in many instances endorsed, by Deans. But in the majority of cases, Dean-endorsed comparators were later switched, resulting in a substantial reduction of the final salary adjustments for those applicants. Management also used a regression analysis (provided by the anti-union law firm Jackson Lewis) to calculate final adjustments, which also typically reduced what applicants will receive, sometimes to zero.
We appealed to management to step back from this insult to genuine pay equity and fundamental fairness. But the administration has refused to return to the original comparators. So we are calling on them to immediately issue the long-awaited letters from UCS.
Most of the 103 faculty members who will receive these letters will get some increase in pay. But for many, the adjustments will be inadequate, because they simply do not achieve pay equity. Applicants will have the right to submit comments about the UCS recommendations and will also have the right to appeal decisions issued by their Chancellors. Union staff, along with our expert colleagues Dana Britton and Cynthia Daniels, will assist in the appeals process.
Our ability to help faculty depends on having as much information as possible. Faculty members who have not yet shared the information on your pay equity application with the union are encouraged to do so by emailing email@example.com. All information is kept confidential.
Our union remains committed to ensuring that there is true pay equity at this university, and we will not stop fighting until we win it. We can’t let Barchi’s RCM budget model restrict equity for the Camden campus and its faculty while it lavishes tens of millions a year on out-of-control athletics spending in New Brunswick.
Our power to continue to make change in this critical area depends on the visible and vocal support of the membership. We encourage you to join us on October 6 at the Board of Governors meeting in Camden (sign up here to let us know you’re coming). Let’s let the BOG know that we demand real pay equity based on race, gender, nationality, and campus.
Becky and Todd
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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