After trying to get a new contract for a year, Rutgers staff has gone on strike. Law school exams don’t kick off until April 28, but the students are getting a crash course in how labor works. At least until the Supreme Court bans unions.
Roughly 9000 university employees are involved in the work stoppage. “The administration doesn’t understand that we are determined to fight together for equal pay for equal work, a living wage for all, real job security, race and gender equity, and a fair salary increase,” the unions said. “We have no other choice than to go on strike to build a university that truly values its workers and its students.”
But this situation could get ugly before it gets better. From the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, AAUP-BHSNJ:
The last time there was a strike at Rutgers, President Edward J. Bloustein sought an injunction, but it was extremely limited in scope. In 1987, when AFSCME locals struck, the university went to court for an injunction, but not against the strike itself; the injunction sought lesser restrictions, such as controlling the locations of picket lines. We hope that President Holloway will not seek an injunction at all. However, if he does, we call on him to follow in the footsteps of President Bloustein. As a scholar of labor history, he should know not to act in any way that would prevent us from exercising the fundamental right of withholding our labor.
Yeah… he will almost certainly seek an injunction. From President Holloway’s reply:
To say that this is deeply disappointing would be an understatement, especially given that just two days ago, both sides agreed in good faith to the appointment of a mediator to help us reach agreements.
I’m not sure we’re all going to agree on this definition of “good faith.” Anyway, Holloway is probably going to seek an injunction. But if the school does seek and secure an injunction, it’s only the beginning of the litigation process because the school would then need to go to court to seek penalties.
Higher education is a complete disasterbacle these days with university presidents making seven-figures (seriously… this guy makes over a million a year) and random middle management admins hauling in $200K while the faculty WHO ACTUALLY DO THE TEACHING PART struggle to make ends meet.
The fact that professors everywhere aren’t constantly on strike is a policy failure.
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.
Leave a Reply