By Susan Loyer, Home News
NEW BRUNSWICK — More than 400 Rutgers University faculty, staff and students rallied outside the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting Tuesday, while dozens more inside petitioned the governing body directly in hopes of securing fair union contracts, a freeze on tuition and a $15-per-hour minimum wage on campus.
Student groups and members of 23 unions representing more than 20,000 Rutgers workers, whose contracts expire June 30, organized the protest, Anthropology professor David Hughes, vice president of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT faculty union, said in a statement.
“Our students deserve more opportunities for education without incurring debt, while Rutgers workers deserve real raises and security that the university can amply afford,” Hughes said. “We are committed to public education as a right and call this a ‘fight for a Rutgers we deserve.’”
Lucye Millerand, President of the Rutgers administrative staff union (URA-AFT local 1766), is concerned that Rutgers management fails to include campus stakeholders in planning resulting in massive waste due to misplaced priorities. “Rutgers management is spending tens of millions on failed ventures like Big Ten football and a poorly executed Cornerstone financial technology system.” Meanwhile, she said workers in her 2,500-member union are taking home less pay than eight years ago.