By Joshua Rosenau, Staff Writer
Monday, September 27, 2010 00:09
Students and faculty protested the University’s financial policies Friday on the steps of Brower Commons on the College Avenue campus before the annual address of University President Richard L. McCormick.
The rally served as a platform for speeches by leaders of the University’s labor unions and the Rutgers University Student Assembly. Most of the speakers hit on topics like the faculty wage freeze and the rise in fees and tuition passed to students.
“The raises were due to the people who were the best teachers and the best researchers on this campus,” said Adrienne Eaton, president of the Rutgers Council of the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers. “So the people who were hurt the most were also the most high performing.”
The University’s denial of raises will likely make it harder for the University to retain and attract high-quality faculty and staff who may find a better job elsewhere, she said.
For students here, that is going to have consequences in the classroom, as there will be consequences for the research program and the reputation of the University, Eaton said.
“If all the other state colleges paid the raises, Rutgers, who gets more money, should be able to pay the raises. It’s a bunch of junk,” said Charlesetta Bynes, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1761, which represents clerical, office, laboratory and technical workers at the University, according to its website.
Union members at the rally gathered student signatures for a petition requesting that the University “honor the negotiated agreements by paying salary increases” and “make available a clear explanation of the administration’s priorities.”
The University’s unions are trying to establish a modicum of fairness, said Rutgers Business School Student Counselor John Muth.
“We have so many administrators at [the University], dozens, scores, that are earning [$200,000 to] $400,000 a year, and they are begrudging people who are earning [$30,000 to] 50,000 a year an opportunity to get their raise,” Muth said.