We’ve compiled important information about the strike here. Share this link with colleagues as the first place to go for information.
Where to Go First for Answers
Here are some important strike resources; start with these if you have questions:
- 2023 Strike Manual – An extensive FAQ ranging from picket line conduct and communicating with students to how to respond to administration threats.
- Don’t Help Management Spy on Us – What to do if the administration tries to get us to report who’s on strike
- Know Your Rights: Injunction Threats and Your Right to Strike – Our response to President Holloway’s threat to ask for an injunction against us
- Bargaining Status at a Glance – An up-to-date chart showing our proposals and management’s response (or lack of one)
Join the Picket Line!
Picket shifts: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and 1 p.m.–5 p.m.
- College Ave: 43 College Ave., outside Scott Hall (smaller pickets may be set up in front of Winants, Academic Building, and SCI)
- Cook/Douglass: corner of George Street and Chapel Drive/Nichol Road
- Livingston: Livingston Student Center, 84 Joyce Kilmer Ave., Piscataway
- Busch: lawn side of Weeks Hall of Engineering, 500 Bartholomew Rd., Piscataway
- Main large rally site: Voorhees Mall, in back of Scott Hall
Hourly shifts: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
- Plaza in front of Robeson Campus Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
- Plaza outside Law School, between University Avenue and Washington Street
Picket shifts: Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. and 1 p.m.–5 p.m.
- Outside Campus Center
If you are physically unable to be present on our campus picket lines, fill out this form to sign up for important remote roles you can play.
Nightly Updates from the Table and the Picket Line
We will be organizing Zoom meetings every night of the strike at 8 p.m. to keep everyone informed about bargaining, respond to administration threats, and plan for the next day’s actions. Click here to register for the Zoom link. We expect to exceed the 1,000-person Zoom capacity at times, so if you can’t get into the Zoom, click here to watch a livestream on our union YouTube channel.
Stay in Touch throughout the Day
The best way to stay updated on the strike is at the picket line. Organizers on each campus are using What’sApp groups to stay in touch and pass on up-to-the-minute information, so be sure you’re signed up. We have a new Twitter page for strike updates; click here and follow us. We’ll continue to send union emails each morning with critical information on bargaining and strike organization. But remember, the best way to know what’s going on is to talk to your colleagues on the line!
We Will Confront All Retaliation, Surveillance, or Threats
If you experience any instance of retaliation or threats for participating in the strike or surveillance by anyone associated with Rutgers, please report it immediately by filling out this form (the contents of all reports will be kept confidential). Our union staff’s Contract Enforcement and Grievance (CEG) Team will vigilantly defend all our members against any retaliation or threats. As our union motto says, “An injury to one is an injury to all.”
Last month, the University Senate passed a resolution criticizing President Holloway for telling students a strike would be “illegal” and asking everyone in the Rutgers community to sign a No Retaliation Statement. If you haven’t already, please take the Senate pledge by clicking here.
Communicating with Our Students
We want to make sure our students know that our strike is a fight for them, too. Ask your students to support the strike and join us on the picket line, if they want to. You should post a message on your Canvas explaining that it won’t be pulled down, but you won’t be updating it. Click here for a suggested message. If you want to create an email auto-response on your Rutgers.edu account, we have suggested text here—though take note that anyone without job security should be aware that the university could use this information to tell if you are on strike.
Don’t Help the Administration Spy on Us
We’ve learned that management may attempt to enlist department Chairs, Undergraduate Directors, department staff, and others to report striking workers. The only plausible reason for this would be to try to withhold pay, cancel our health insurance, hold us in contempt of a possible court order, or otherwise retaliate against us. The goal of such action would be to divide us and create hostility among members, breaking down our solidarity and undermining the strike.
No one should comply with any attempt by the central administration to gather information about who is on strike. We particularly make this request of Chairs, Undergraduate Directors, and our staff colleagues. This is not a neutral act; it is active strike-breaking. We think it will be very difficult for the administration to gather information about our strike without the cooperation of faculty or staff. So please don’t cooperate!
The administration may use an opt-in strategy. They may ask people to report who is showing up to work or ask individual workers to “sign-in” somewhere. Do not do this! It is effectively the same thing as reporting who is on strike.
Click here to learn more about how we advise members to respond to this threat.
Know Your Rights: Injunction Threats and Our Right to Strike
President Holloway has stated that the administration will quickly petition a court for an injunction when we go on strike. Please be advised that if this happens, it would signal the start, and not the end, of a legal process. We will be in frequent contact with you to make sure your questions are answered.
As we explain in our Strike FAQ, the NJ Constitution and statutes are silent about whether strikes by public-sector workers are legal. In some instances, courts have issued injunctions against striking public employees. If the administration takes us to court, our lawyers will oppose the granting of such an injunction. If a judge should grant one, and our unions decide to continue the strike, the university would have to return to court to seek penalties for violation of the injunction. This process could take several days.
If an injunction is issued, it is possible that all of us will receive communications from the university, telling us to return to work. However, you should not be intimidated and should wait for guidance from union leadership about any legal actions.
The last time there was a strike at Rutgers—by AFSCME locals in 1987—President Edward J. Bloustein sought an injunction, but it was extremely limited in scope; the injunction wasn’t against the strike itself but sought lesser restrictions, such as controlling the locations of picket lines. We hope that President Holloway will not seek an injunction at all. However, if he does, we call on him to follow in the footsteps of President Bloustein.
As a scholar of labor history, he should know not to act in any way that would prevent us from exercising the fundamental right of withholding our labor. More than 1,200 people from around the country have signed an open letter calling on President Holloway to not seek an injunction.
Click here to read more about how we are responding to the administration’s injunction threat.
Donate to the Strike Fund
Our unions have established a merged strike fund, named the Rutgers Strike & Solidarity Fund, with the goal of supporting members in the event of a strike. We hope those of you who can best afford to give will do so generously to support your colleagues. Click here to donate, and click here for an FAQ about the fund (see part 4!).