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The Rutgers University faculty strike is over, for now, after a deal is reached

Strikers march in front of Rutgers' buildings in New Brunswick, N.J., this past Monday.
Seth Wenig
/
AP
Strikers march in front of Rutgers' buildings in New Brunswick, N.J., this past Monday.

Faculty at Rutgers University are ending a week-long strike, effective immediately, after agreeing to a tentative contract with the school. The 67,000 students at the New Jersey school system can return to classes on Monday.

The three striking unions and the Rutgers administration announced early Saturday that they had reached a "framework" agreement for new faculty contracts.

According to the university, the deal includes substantial increases to the salaries of graduate workers and part-time lecturers, and significantly strengthens job security for part-time faculty, Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said in a school news release.

The labor organizations — referring to the strike's status as not a cancelation but a "suspension" — said that while they secured "profound victories for our unions," some issues remain unresolved, and leave open the option of returning to the picket line if they aren't able reach a resolution during bargaining.

The three labor unions are: the Rutgers Adjunct Faculty Union, representing part-time lecturers; the AAUP-AFT, which represents full-time faculty, graduate workers, postdoctoral associates and counselors; and the AAUP-BHSNJ, which represents faculty in the health and sciences departments.

"There are open issues that need to be resolved, especially for AAUP-BHSNJ, and we won't leave our colleagues at RBHS behind. They have been with us all the way. However, the framework shows the vital progress we have made on the core issues we prioritized during this contract campaign," the unions said in the announcement.

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The unions, representing some 9,000 staff and faculty workers, called for the strike on April 9 in what they said was a fight to secure equal pay, living wages, race and gender equity and salary hikes.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy applauded the agreement after days of demonstrations by staff and students across Rutgers' campuses in New Brunswick, Camden and Newark.

"After five days of intensive dialogue and negotiations in my office, I am pleased to share that the Rutgers University and union bargaining committees have come to an agreement," Gov. Murphy said in a statement.

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