Takeaway: Read below to find out what we are doing to enforce our contracts’ guarantee of central funding of raises for grant-funded faculty, postdocs, and graduate workers. To learn more, come to a town hall meeting on Wednesday, October 18, at 11 a.m.; click here to register for the Zoom link.
The administration is putting critical research projects at Rutgers in danger by refusing to honor their contractual obligation to centrally fund unbudgeted salary increases for grant-funded faculty, postdocs, and graduate workers. We’ve met with the administration multiple times to document the chaos they are causing and pressure them to abide by our contracts, but to no avail. So on Monday, we filed a grievance that we hope will force the administration to honor the agreements they signed in the spring. Click here to read the full grievance.
As we’ve written before, hundreds and perhaps thousands of grant accounts were improperly raided by the administration to pay for salary increases beyond what was budgeted for—in violation of this provision included for the first time in our new contracts:
The University shall fund contractual salary increases for unit members on grants with budgets approved by funding agencies that are not already accounted for in existing grant funds or unit/department budgets, including start-up funds. This will be accomplished by awarding compensatory funds to cover the difference between budgeted salary increases and negotiated salary increases, if the total amount of the awarded grant funding is not increased by the grantor to cover the negotiated salary raises for the duration of the grant or start-up funds. If unit/departmental budgets do not have sufficient funds to pay the negotiated increases, the University shall fund those increases.
A June memo from the administration acknowledged this contractual obligation—but they unilaterally imposed a convoluted and time-consuming process on Principal Investigators (PIs) to get grant accounts reimbursed, and then offered no guidance. As our grievance notes, many PIs were unable to follow the non-negotiated protocol—and among those who completed the process, a number have still not gotten reimbursements.
We know that those of you who are personally affected by this issue will have more questions, so we are holding a town hall meeting about the central funding grievance on Wednesday, October 18, at 11 a.m. Click here to register for the Zoom link.
The administration’s breach of our contracts is unacceptable and puts the future of research at our university in danger. Some 4,200 grants secured and administered by PIs bring in nearly one in every six dollars that comes into Rutgers—close to $1 billion in all. Hundreds of faculty, postdocs, and grad workers will be affected if the administration doesn’t honor its contractual promise.
This is one of many attacks on our contracts—from preemptively canceled classes for adjunct faculty, to rejected applications for COVID funding extensions for grad workers, to continued violations of the Salary Equity Program process. Meanwhile, the administration claims austerity is necessary because of the salary increases in our new contracts—even though our unions won more than $50 million in additional state funding to help pay for them. We have to continue fighting and organizing together to make the administration abide by our contracts!
Rutgers AAUP-AFT, Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, and AAUP-BHSNJ