Rutgers University
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Strike by 3 unions disrupts classes at Rutgers University

April 10, 2023
Unions representing professors, part-time lecturers and graduate students have been without a contract since July 1.

Three unions representing an estimated 9,000 full- and part-time faculty members at Rutgers University in New Jersey have gone on strike for the first time in the school’s 257-year history.

The New York Times reports that the strike comes after nearly a year of unsuccessful bargaining between union representatives and university officials. The union says the sides remained far apart on several issues, including a pay increase and the rights of untenured adjunct faculty members and graduate workers.

The walkout is expected to disrupt the majority of in-person and online classes as students head into their last weeks of the spring semester before finals next month.

The university contends that it does not expect the strike to interfere with academics.

“Notwithstanding the action by the union leadership, the university is committed to ensuring that our more than 67,000 students are unaffected by the strike and may continue their academic progress,” the school said in a statement.

The strike was called after 94% of union members voted in favor of it earlier this year, union officials said. Picket lines are planned at Rutgers’s three main campuses in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden. reports that the three striking unions, which have been working without a contract since July 1, are: Rutgers AAUP-AFT, which represents full-time faculty, graduate workers, postdoctoral associates, and some counselors; the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, which represents part-time lecturers; and the AAUP-BHSNJ, which includes faculty in the biomedical and health sciences at Rutgers’ medical, dental, nursing, and public health schools.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has called for both sides in the labor dispute to come to the governor's office in an effort to broker a settlement.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy has been writing about education for American School & University since 1999. He also has reported on schools and other topics for The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Times and City News Bureau of Chicago. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.

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