Sweeney hears about pay inequity at Rutgers-Camden

AFTNJ President Donna M. Chiera and Rutgers AAUP-AFT leaders met Oct. 4 with State Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney via Zoom to discuss salary inequity at Rutgers University’s Camden campus.

Todd Wolfson, Rutgers AAUP-AFT’s general vice president, pointed out that during the last contract negotiation about three years ago, two glaring disparities surfaced.

“One was that women were consistently, systematically paid less than men,” Wolfson said, “and the other was that our Camden faculty were paid — on average, accounting for rank and position and time of service — 24 percent less than their New Brunswick counterparts.”

Sweeney said a professor’s salary “shouldn’t have anything to do with gender, and you shouldn’t be [earning] less if you’re in Camden.”

As the session was winding down, Sweeney said, “This is fixable. … When I walk away from this call, I’m going to get on the phone and start calling some people.”

“Rutgers management refusing to implement the process for campus pay equity they negotiated with the union is another example of their disrespect for labor, and in this case for the spirit and intention of the legislation passed by the legislature and signed by Gov. Murphy,” Chiera said after the meeting. “It is time for President Jonathan Holloway and the board of trustees to recognize the professional voices of those who educate and provide services to students.”

Chiera added, “We thank Senate President Steve Sweeney for listening and working with us to build back a better higher education system that provides a quality education, no matter what part of the state you live in.”

In an effort to draw attention to pay inequity and other concerns, Rutgers AAUP-AFT will hold an in-person informational picket and speakout Oct. 6 in front of the Camden campus center. The event begins at 11:30 a.m., coinciding with the board of governors’ arrival for its open session taking place in the afternoon.