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Wage Freezes, Job Losses Possible as Rutgers Declares Fiscal Emergency

Chuck O’Donnell, Patch

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – More than 20,000 Rutgers employees could have their scheduled 3% raises postponed and others could lose their jobs as the university deals with a projected $260 million deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school has declared a fiscal emergency as referenced in certain labor union contracts, which then triggers a mandatory 21-day negotiating period.

During the time, the university and its labor unions “investigate” the next step before any action is formally taken by Rutgers, according to a statement provided to TAPinto New Brunswick by a university spokesperson.

That action could include the postponement of a scheduled 3% wage hike that is scheduled to kick in on July 1.

During a video conference last week with leaders of a coalition of 19 labor unions representing more than 20,000 employees at Rutgers, Christine O’Connell called for the university to take a “humane” approach to negotiations. O’Connell, the president of the Union of Rutgers Administrators, is urging the university to “do as little harm as possible.”

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George Blakely, Rutgers Dining Services

In June 2020, Rutgers University targeted employees in Dining Services for layoff, despite multiple negotiations sessions with unions to implement a “win-win” alternative to layoffs that would save the University hundreds of millions of dollars. The University instead chose to save money on the backs of hundreds of its workers who will now go without benefits or medical coverage. Shame on Rutgers and the leadership team of Joe Charette, Sal Mena and Bob Barchi.

Cindy Braun, Rutgers Dining Services

In June 2020, Rutgers University targeted employees in Dining Services for layoff, despite multiple negotiations sessions sessions with unions to implement a “win-win” alternative to layoffs that would save the University hundreds of millions of dollars. The University instead chose to save money on the backs of hundreds of its workers who will now go without benefits or medical coverage. Shame on Rutgers and the leadership team of Joe Charette, Sal Mena and Bob Barchi.