Newark Vice President Dorothy Grauer Tells BOG to “Pay What You Owe”
Oct. 12, BOG meeting in Newark.
“As an employee of Rutgers and as a member of the Union of Rutgers Administrators, I believe that when the University makes an agreement with its workers, it has to keep its promises. In 2009, our Union agreed to wait an extra year for our raise. And when that year was up, Rutgers didn’t pay. How can you now look us in the face and consider spending millions of dollars for a new building?
If Rutgers is truly facing hard economic times, then you should do the decent thing today and vote NOT to award millions of dollars for construction of a business school in New Brunswick. To spend millions on yet another building, while freezing our salaries, increasing tuition, and withholding raises, is the modern-day version of saying “Let the students and workers eat cake”.
I hope that, before this meeting ends, this Board gets its priorities in order. Your first obligation is to the students of this university. Take those millions of dollars and pay down the rising tuition and fees for these students. Pay the staff and faculty the living wage that you promised us. We can’t feed our families or pay for health care with bricks.
Are you so unconcerned, are you so far removed from caring anything about the students and staff that you would continue making them bear the burden of your so-called economic hard times? How can you justify paying nearly a million dollars to President McCormick and Vice-President Furmansky, and spending millions on real estate?
President McCormick has told the world that he is “committed” to ending the salary freeze, and paying us our raises. But when we come to the table to meet with management, we see that you are still not treating the staff– the lower-earning workforce with the same consideration you show for the faculty.
We see that although you make generous provisions for executives who resign, you will not follow the law to make our retirees whole. Think about that.
You lobbied hard to change the law to protect retirement plans for faculty and executives who earn over a hundred and forty thousand dollars. But you cheated our P.E.R.S retirees with their 20 and 30 thousand dollar pensions.
Now, as our pension and health insurance costs rise sharply, you expect us to dig into our pockets… but we are sure you will protect yourselves and the Deans, Vice Presidents and Head Coaches who have personal contracts with hefty bonuses, house payments, country clubs and college tuition for their children.
In the Business School, students are taught about financial responsibility and priorities. I ask that this Board demonstrate a sound understanding of the business of education and put the students and staff first by voting “No” on any new construction.”