When can Rutgers freeze professors’ pay? Union demands contract changes

By Kelly Heyboer, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

NEW BRUNSWICK — After months of tense contract negotiations, Rutgers University officials and representatives of its professors union have reached a tentative deal to raise faculty salary minimums and improve family leave benefits.

But the two sides remain deadlocked on one big question: When can Rutgers freeze the salaries of its employees?

The American Association of University Professors- American Federation of Teachers, which represents Rutgers’ professors and graduate students, is asking the university to change long-standing contract language that says any negotiated raises are subject to “adequate funding” from the state.

Union officials say the “adequate funding” clause in the contract is too vague and allows Rutgers to freeze salaries on a whim by claiming the university does not have enough cash to cover raises.