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Rutgers union leaders approve tentative agreement with school less than a month after historic strike

<i>spiroview inc/Adobe Stock</i><br/>Rutgers University employees striked earlier in April for the first time in the school's 257-year history.
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Rutgers University employees striked earlier in April for the first time in the school's 257-year history.

By Liam Reilly, CNN

Leaders of three Rutgers University unions approved a tentative agreement with the school Sunday evening, just weeks after going on a five-day strike — the first in the New Jersey university’s 257-year history.

Elected officials from the three unions — Rutgers AAUP-AFT, the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union and the AAUP-BHSNJ — convened Sunday evening to approve the agreement and recommend that their 9,000 members ratify it after nearly a year of negotiations, according to a statement from one of the unions.

The tentative agreement provides salary increases for full-time faculty, graduate assistants, teaching assistants, and others; provides new compensation programs for medical school faculty; and provides both salary increases and job security for part-time lecturers, Rutgers University said in a statement.

“We are a democratic union, and our members will have the final say,” the unions said in a statement. “We’re proud of what we achieved by going on strike and joining together for the Rutgers we and our students deserve.”

“We didn’t win everything we asked for and deserve, but no labor contract ever does,” the unions said. “We will continue fighting for a better Rutgers starting the day after we have a ratified contract.”

The strike on three campuses began earlier this month after almost a year of gridlocked contract negotiations. A framework agreement was reached after the fifth day, but union members still need to approve it.

The three unions represent some 9,000 educators, researchers, clinicians and counselors at Rutgers University.

Union members will decide whether to ratify the tentative agreements as contracts through the end of June 2026, the statement says. To do so, they will meet, read, and discuss the items in town hall meetings over the coming days, after which they will cast ballots in a ratification vote.

If ratified, the provisions would be applied retroactively, the Rutgers University statement said.

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