O’Connell, Givan react to delayed Coalition of Rutgers Unions raises

The Coalition of Rutgers Unions recently started a petition addressed to Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway calling for the administration to pay deferred raises on time to faculty and staff.

“We demand that [Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness] Senior Vice President [Vivian] Fernández ensures that these raises are paid with the July 9th paychecks,” the petition says. “We have participated in the work-sharing program, and many of us are still awaiting full payment from the state Department of Labor. We agreed to this program in good faith, and we demand that Rutgers keep its side of the agreement.”

“It took [nine] months of work through multiple delays by management to negotiate an agreement to defer our raises until July 1 and agree to a work-share program where many of our members are still struggling to receive unemployment benefits,” said Christine O’Connell, president of Rutgers URA-AFT, in a Daily Targum story written by Joanne Chung and posted July 10. “It is unacceptable that Rutgers chooses to not implement our raises on time and meet their deadline that impacts over 10,000 employees.”

“If the university wants to prioritize respect for the people who work for [Fernández], and demonstrate that it lives up to signed agreements, it can still right this wrong,” added Rebecca Givan, Rutgers AAUP-AFT president. “It’s not too late. We’ll be using our arbitration procedure to try to enforce our signed agreement. Many of our members are calling for further actions and believe that the administration needs to take responsibility for its inability to perform its basic functions, and for disrespecting the community.”