Student files lawsuit against 3 Rutgers University unions over 2023 teacher strike

The student filed a $150 million suit for the April 2023 strike that lasted a week.

Joti Rekhi

Mar 16, 2024, 1:12 AM

Updated 36 days ago


A Rutgers University junior has filed a $150 million suit against three university unions for a strike that resulted in a cancellation of classes for a week in April 2023. The student, Jeremy Li, is seeking emotional and financial damages for the 67,000 students who didn't attend classes for a week during the spring semester due to the union strikes.
Li, who is being represented by the law firm Hughs and Suhr, claims that students missed out on a critical week of classes that they pay for through their tuition.
"This lawsuit is about ensuring justice, accountability and compensation - not just for our client Jeremy - but for every student at Rutgers who was denied a week of the education that they paid for," said attorney Daniel Suhr.
The lawsuit claims that students missed out on lectures and office hours and experienced delays in grades. The strikes occurred shortly before final examinations.
"I can see where he's coming from. But also, a lot of the students seemed to enjoy the strike. It was a good break," said Rutgers sophomore Max Sena. "And the teachers cut material that we missed. It's not like we had to get tested on stuff that we didn't learn."
Students News 12 spoke to on campus mostly disagreed with the filing. Many of them, who joined educators on the picket line, still stand alongside the union employees.
"It's a shame to hear because we had a lot of solidarity going on here at Rutgers," said Rutgers junior Julianna Garvey. "There were thousands of people on Vorheese Mall out here with the teachers. I was one of them. And it's actually really disappointing to see such a large group of students turning against the teachers that have done so much for them."
A Rutgers University spokesperson declined to comment because they aren't party to the suit. Rutgers AAUP-AFT didn't comment because they haven't been formally notified of the suit. AFTNJ also declined to comment and said they are reviewing the suit with all named parties at this time.

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