After the university administration did not acquiesce to its demands met last month, unionized workers at Rutgers University began voting on whether to authorize a labor strike.
According to the Daily Targum, voting began on February 27 and the votes will be done through email ballots. The student newspaper quoted a union official about the strike threat, who said that a previous threatened strike in the 2018-2019 academic year led to concessions from the university administration and stopped a labor strike from happening.
The university’s Association of American University Professors (AAUP)-American Federation of Teachers (AFT) union, which represents about 6,600 workers at three campuses in New Jersey.
So far, the union and administration have held 27 bargaining sessions to try to reach an agreement on a new contract. University spokesman Dory Devlin said, “(The University) will continue to meet in good faith with (the union) until we reach comprehensive agreements on mandatorily negotiable issues, including compensation.” Devlin added, “We are hopeful that agreements with all of our unions can be reached as quickly as possible.”
The union pointed to other labor strikes in higher education as a source for inspiration, such as the strike that froze the University of California system for several months.
Accuracy in Academia reported on the potential labor unrest last month, where the union issued a long laundry list of left-wing demands. Some examples of their demands are “housing justice,” “equity” on racial and campus issues, and a “living wage” for graduate students.