Final exams in jeopardy? – No progress ending Rutgers professors strike
🔺 The Rutgers professors strike enters day three, with little progress toward an end
🔺 Gov. Murphy says issues involve "enormous complexities"
🔺 A fourth union may join the picket
As the Rutgers University professors strike enters day three, there does not appear to be any significant progress toward reaching an agreement that will end the walkout.
The strike has canceled many classes on all three Rutgers campuses and raised concerns about the impact to preparations for final exams.
Gov. Phil Murphy is keeping bargaining teams from all sides at his office in Trenton. Little information about any progress is being shared.
However, Murphy said on WNYC radio last night that "some progress" had been made. He refused to get into specifics.
Murphy did concede "enormous complexities" remain and there is still "a lot of wood to chop."
On Tuesday, the governor say he was "pissed off" that months of negotiations had failed to avoid a strike. He did convince Rutgers leadership to at least delay suing the union and asking a judge to order faculty back to work. Rutgers has maintained the job action is illegal.
Another Union May Join the Picket
The union representing mostly clerical and administrative staff at Rutgers announced on Tuesday their members are considering joining the three union already on strike.
Rutgers Administrators URA-AFT Local 1766 has begun gauging interest among members and has initiated a "strike pledge."
That does not mean they will strike, but it is the first step in the process.
Representing some 2,500 administrative workers, URA-AFT Local 1766 officials say they would like the same job security tenured professors have. They are also pushing for more remote work opportunities and better working conditions.
Bargaining with faculty unions will continue today at the Statehouse. Murphy said last night, "I'm an eternal optimist," and remained hopeful of a quick resolution.