Rutgers faculty union holds rally to fight for salary demands

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

The first strike in Rutgers University history is looming, and the faculty union says there's a strong possibility it will happen.

The faculty is sounding a final warning Tuesday afternoon as the AAUP-AFT UNION goes in front of the Board of Governors.

The union is demanding equal pay for equal work, including for part-time and female faculty, salary increases for teachers like graduate assistants, and hiring more staff to lower the teacher to student ratio, staff that reflects the diverse student body.

Union members are picketing in front of the building on the quad as well as going inside to make public statements during the open station with the Board of Governors.

RELATED: Strike looms at Rutgers as faculty fights for salary demands 
RELATED: 
Faculty at Rutgers University prepare for possible strike 

It’s likely that a potential strike would overlap with finals and end of semester issues for students.

They have been at the bargaining table dozens of times with the administration and are scheduled for additional sessions, but say the point of today is to let the board know they will strike if demands are not met.

Alexandra Adams, a grad student, said "I actually declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year because I've spent four years here not making a living wage. Despite the fact that I don't go anywhere or do anything except for work here seven days a week between my teaching and research load."

AAUP-AFT Vice President David Hughes said, "We'd like to inform them of how serious the faculty are, how serious the students are as well and that we really intend to win these things for our members and for higher education in New Jersey."

Rutgers University in a statement responded, "We have held 35 negotiating sessions with the AFT-AAUP and a robust and active schedule of negotiating sessions has been set for the coming weeks...We are continuing to negotiate in good faith and on a regular basis with the remaining unions."

An exact strike date is not set as negotiations continue.

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