By DIANE D’AMICO Education Writer

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — The academic year at Richard Stockton College is ending, but faculty and staff at the college held a demonstration on campus Wednesday to raise awareness of low college funding and that they worked the entire year without a new contract.

Demonstrations were planned at eight public colleges. Union officials said the rising cost of college is not because of faculty salaries and benefits but because the state has under-funded the colleges for years.

Gov. Chris Christie had proposed increasing aid to higher education by almost 6 percent to $1.4 billion for 2012-13, but that comes after years of cuts. The funds will largely be used to meet the state’s obligation for employee benefits. The unions are concerned that the state wants to break up the statewide faculty unions, which would reduce their bargaining power.

Donna Chiera, president of the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey, which represents the faculty, said in a statement that true support for higher education means investing in the colleges and providing good, competitive working conditions for faculty and staff.


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