Rutgers University has reached a tentative agreement with its faculty and staff unions, allowing classes to resume Monday after a nearly week-long historic strike.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced the breakthrough early Saturday, following five days of negotiations between the university and the unions’ leaders in his office that led to the 257-year-old school’s first strike.
“This fair and amicable conclusion respects the interests of many different stakeholders, upholds New Jersey’s values and puts an end to a standoff that was disruptive to our educators and students alike,” Murphy said in a tweet.
Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway praised the agreement, calling its provisions “fair and equitable.”
The tentative agreement includes salary boosts across the board for full-time faculty and counselors by at least 14% by July 1, 2025. It also includes higher pay for adjuncts, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, as well as greater job security for adjuncts.
The contracts, which will need to be voted on by the unions’ members, would be retroactive to July 1, 2022.
The strike began Monday after about 9,000 Rutgers faculty and staff walked off the job, disrupting classes for the university’s 67,000 students statewide, many of whom joined the picket line.
The drastic demonstration came after almost a year of stalled contract negotiations, according to strikers. Among their demands were higher salary, better job security for adjunct faculty and guaranteed funding for graduate students.
In a joint statement, the unions noted that there were still “open issues” that needed to be addressed, but said the strike helped them achieve “vital progress” for their contracts goals.
“The agreements we secured in this framework are a testament to all the workers, students and community members who organized, talked to colleagues and friends, walked the picket lines and marched in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden,” they said.
Classes for students will begin again Monday.