🔺 The Rutgers professors strike enters its second day
🔺 Bargainers were summoned to the Statehouse on Monday
🔺 Gov. Murphy says he is "pissed off" things got to this point
As the professors strike at Rutgers University enters its second day, it is not clear if any progress has been made toward ending the walkout.
Students told to report for classes Monday were met by loud and angry crowds of professors, part-time lecturers and graduate students raising picket signs, marching and shouting.
Sophomore Freddy Ramos told ABC News he had never seen anything quite like it, "It seems kind of fun to have a strike but you still have to study and catch up on assignments."
Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway was not amused. He accused union protestors of disrupting an exam.
"In one instance, protesters actually entered a class where a critical exam was being conducted," Holloway said in a statement, "I hope the union leadership will join me in urging their members to be respectful of our students and supportive of their academic progress."
The union has not issued a statement in response to Holloway's comments.
Union leaders and bargainers from Rutgers were summoned to Gov. Phil Murphy's office on Monday afternoon.
That, at least for now, seems to have headed off promised legal action. Rutgers had threatened to take the unions to court if they walked out, claiming the strike was illegal.
Murphy asked the school not to do that while he oversaw negotiations, and Holloway agreed.
It is not clear how late negotiations went into the night, but as of Tuesday morning no agreement had been announced.
Before the talks began, Murphy said he understands the frustration of parents and students impacted by the job action. "They’re pissed off, and so am I," Murphy said.
Striking workers have been without a contract for months, with wages being the biggest sticking point.
Murphy made it clear he would not support any deal to boost pay should not come at the cost of higher tuition.
For students, the timing of the strike could not come at a worse time. Final exams are set to begin in a matter of weeks, and this is the time of the semester where year-end reviews and final class assignments are taking place.
It is for that reason, Murphy says, he is pressing for a quick resolution.
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