We were deeply disappointed by President Holloway’s State of the University address to the University Senate last Friday.
Responding to questions from senators, he said our united faculty’s demand for equal pay for equal work was “a powerful phrase that is compelling on its surface, and it ignores the layers of complexity underneath it.” That is the kind of dismissive rhetoric about a basic democratic principle that we have come to expect from conservatives—and troublesome considering the problems with the implementation of the pay equity program won in our last contract.
Rather than approach the challenges our university faces in a spirit of constructive collaboration, President Holloway belittled the demands of students, staff, grad workers, and faculty as part of a “culture of grievance” that causes people to “organize their thinking and their peer groups: Rutgers has screwed them again, Rutgers has conspired to make things difficult, the administration only cares about what’s happening in New Brunswick.”
This is a gross misrepresentation. As you know, we worked with students, our sibling unions, and the community to organize a successful “We R the University!” rally ahead of the Senate meeting. We mobilized some 250 people in an expression of love for our students and our university—to highlight the urgent needs that must be met for our whole community to feel respected and treated equitably. What President Holloway calls “grievance” is solidarity—our commitment to making sure every part of the Rutgers community, on every campus, is treated with respect by the institution.
We urge you to judge for yourself: read or watch President Holloway’s speech and watch video clips of his responses to questions. We also want to draw your attention to the strong labor relations resolution that the Senate passed by an overwhelming vote, which calls for “new collective bargaining agreements that best serve the interests of the entire academic community.” Thank you to our colleagues on the University Senate for their work on this resolution.
All this underlines the urgency of our union’s organizing for a strong new contract. We put forward our contract proposals long ago, but the administration has still not addressed our most substantial demands; in fact, they are putting obstacles in the way of even meeting for bargaining. We ask all of you to get involved in your union in the coming weeks:
- Fill out this form to get involved and tell us your ideas for organizing.
- All tenure track faculty are invited to a first tenure track working group meeting on Zoom this Friday, September 30, at 2 p.m. Click here to RSVP for the link. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get involved in one of our other working groups.
- If you’re in Newark, come to the chapter happy hour this Friday, September 30, from 4–6 p.m. at Newark Local Beer, 538 Broad St. (First drink’s on us!)
- We know #RutgersHasTheMoney! Come to a University Budget and Priorities Committee Educational Forum to learn the facts about Rutgers finances, via Zoom on Thursday, October 13, at 2 p.m. Click here to RSVP for the link.
Becky, Todd, Donna, Manu, and Jim
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Todd Wolfson, General Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Donna Murch, New Brunswick Chapter President, BIPOC Caucus Co-chair, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Manu Chander, Newark Chapter President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Jim Brown, Camden Chapter President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT