Two months ago, postdoc union members unanimously ratified a new contract that made important gains, including a 17.6 percent increase in the minimum postdoc salary to $50,000 and retroactive payments for eligible postdocs who didn’t get a raise in the previous two school years while management dragged its feet negotiating our contract.
Those increases were supposed to be paid starting in July, but they weren’t—because Senior Vice President for Human Resources and “Organizational Effectiveness” Vivian Fernández decided her department was too busy to pay our raises on time. Our Coalition of Rutgers Unions asked an arbitrator to require management to pay the raises on time, and we won a ruling in our favor. But it came too late to get the increases paid any sooner than this month.
We’ve been promised that postdoctoral associates will see our hard-earned increases in paychecks issued next week, on August 20. When the next checks are issued, be sure to check that you got everything that’s coming to you, including a retroactive sum to make up for the delay since July 1. If you think management made any errors, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After nearly two years of stonewalling our demands for a new contract, it is entirely possible that management will once again fail to meet its promise. So we want to ask you to be ready to join in an action to step up the pressure if they fail to honor their commitment to pay the raises they agreed to in our new contract.
And we have a fight ahead of us to make new gains in our next postdoc contract. This time, we’ll be bargaining as part of the Coalition of Rutgers Unions, along with all faculty, all graduate workers, and many university staff—over 15,000 Rutgers workers in all. Our power lies in our organized membership—so please join us in fighting for equity, security, and dignity.
Althea Pestine-Stevens, Vice President for Postdoctoral Associates, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Andrés Morera, Executive Council Representative, Rutgers AAUP-AFT