We’re writing to let members know that all of the 14 candidates that the AAUP-AFT endorsed in legislative elections on Tuesday—and who we asked you to support and vote for—won their races. It was a good day for public higher education!
We’re already in touch with our legislative allies to congratulate them and discuss how to move our unions’ priorities forward:
- Our legislation to lower the inflated fringe benefit rate that is harming research at Rutgers needs one last vote in the State Assembly before it becomes law; we expect that vote to take place during the coming lame duck session. (By the way, Senator Andrew Zwicker, the fringe bill’s chief sponsor, was in one of the most competitive races in the state; on Tuesday, he not only won but improved his margin of victory from the last election, thanks in part to our support!)
- We expect lawmakers who we endorsed to take up a bill in the next session that would give adjunct faculty at New Jersey public colleges and universities access to the state health insurance program.
- Senator Zwicker and other officeholders we supported are planning to advance legislation to establish safe nurse-to-patient ratios in hospitals, a top priority for the striking nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
Tuesday’s election showed the importance of building and exerting our political power in Trenton. The work of our unions’ Legislative Committees continues beyond this election; we will keep building on this week’s successes.
We have an opportunity to drive a progressive agenda for New Jersey over the next year that takes us into the 2024 presidential and congressional elections. This is a fight for democracy, but it also matters that we fight alongside allies for affordable access to health care and housing, increased state and federal funding for Rutgers and public higher education, safety from guns, and investing in and protecting our immigrant communities. Our fight for these things in the coming year will impact the fight at the national level, moving it in a stronger and more progressive direction. If you would like to get involved in our union’s Legislative Committee, reply to this email or contact email@example.com.
You can also help build political power by making a voluntary contribution to the AFT Committee on Political Education (COPE), our parent union’s political action committee. We were able to donate COPE funds to the 14 candidates we endorsed, making a further contribution to their victories. The COPE pays for this and other expenses related to educating legislators and supporting officeholders and candidates who respect our members, support public higher education, and work toward our union’s goals. Click here to authorize a deduction for the COPE from each of your paychecks. The suggested contribution is $5 per paycheck, but any amount is helpful and should fit your own current circumstances. You can click here to learn more about our union’s COPE.
Matthew Buckley, Legislative Committee Chair, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Thomas Paul Raggio, Legislative Committee Chair, Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union
Legislative Committee, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Legislative Committee, Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union