Campus Reform | $20M diversity spending not enough? Rutgers faculty threaten to strike if they don't get more (VIDEO)

$20M diversity spending not enough? Rutgers faculty threaten to strike if they don't get more (VIDEO)

More than 100 Rutgers University professors protested a Board of Governors meeting Tuesday, threatening to strike if they do not receive higher pay.

Professors from Rutgers’ Newark and Camden campuses have threatened to go on strike before the end of the spring 2019 semester if their pay does not become equal to the pay of professors on Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus, according to WNBC-TV in New York. A Newark teachers’ union, whose membership its president placed at 5,500, also wants male and female professors to receive equal pay.

Protest attendees chanted “We are not a corporation! Rutgers is for education!”

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“The reason why 88 percent of our faculty and grads voted to authorize a strike is because we feel disrespected,” Deepa Kumar, president of the Rutgers chapter of American Association of University Professors American Federation of Teachers told WNBC-TV. “Give us a good contract. Let’s evert a strike. Let’s not disrupt our students’ education or our own teaching and service and research.”

While the conflict between the Rutgers administration and teachers union has not yet come to an end, with negotiations scheduled for the coming weeks, the Newark campus has already touted its pressure efforts as being successful. 

Rutgers’ administration announced that it will be allocating $20 million towards initiatives that prioritize the hiring of a more diverse faculty.

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David Hughes, vice president of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, described an early April meeting with the administration.

“The higher education plan announced by the Secretary of Higher Education Zakiya Smith Ellis on Tuesday included diversifying faculty, pay equity and supporting faculty in order to support students. None of that was in management’s posture at the bargaining table,” Hughes said, according to NorthJersey.com. “We talked very explicitly about the union’s proposal to diversify the faculty so that it starts to look more like the people of New Jersey, but the administration is flat-out refusing to contribute resources for that.”

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