Our union got a wonderful show of support on Tuesday from Loretta Weinberg, the Senate Majority Leader and prime sponsor of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act. Majority Leader Weinberg spoke alongside two of our five colleagues suing the university over pay inequities, Nancy Wolff and Deepa Kumar, at a virtual press conference. You can watch the press conference at YouTube. Share it with your colleagues and friends on social media. The press conference brilliantly reflected our union’s people-centered commitment to seeking equality and justice. We got some great media coverage (here, here, here, here, and here). Last week, Nancy and Deepa published an excellent op-ed at the Star Ledger.
Senator Weinberg said she came to the press conference with “pride in that law” but also “a little bit of chagrin and embarrassment” that a suit alleging violations of the act was filed against the state university of New Jersey. “We should be a leader in that area,” she said. “I know we have a comparatively new president with Dr. [Jonathan] Holloway. I know how COVID has distracted everybody over the last number of months…but I’m hoping that this press conference will help call attention to the fact that we need [President Holloway’s] help…to make sure that this kind of inequity doesn’t exist in the state university of New Jersey.” She added that “our state university” should “become the leaders and not the followers.”
We welcome this opportunity to work with President Holloway to chart a new course. In our view, this will require meaningful institutional reform and the establishment of organizational structures that have the capacity to review and remediate faculty claims of compensation inequities. We will continue to seek solutions to this long-standing problem, in partnership with the university, with the goal of resolving the pending litigation through settlement discussions, rather than an adversarial process. We are serious about ending inequity once and for all, and we urge President Holloway to work with us to set an example, not only for New Jersey but for institutions of higher education around the country. We want to ensure that our contractually negotiated pay equity process works for everyone.
Good luck finishing out the semester in these tough times—and enjoy this show of support for one of our many battles!
Todd and Becky
Todd Wolfson, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Rebecca Givan, Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
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