“This Agreement Protects Jobs”: Four Unions at Rutgers University Reach Historic Deal to End Layoffs

After a year of layoffs, cuts and austerity, the faculty and staff of four unions at Rutgers University have voted in support of an unusual and pioneering agreement to protect jobs and guarantee raises after the school declared a fiscal emergency as a result of the pandemic. A key part of the deal is an agreement by the professors to do “work share” and take a slight cut in hours for a few months in order to save the jobs of other lower-paid workers. “The historic nature of this agreement is that it encompasses all four unions,” says Christine O’Connell, president of the union representing Rutgers administrators. “This…

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“A Big Deal”: Bill McKibben on Rutgers Fossil Fuel Divestment & the Future of Climate Justice

Rutgers University has voted to begin divesting from fossil fuels, following a campaign by the student-organized Endowment Justice Collective that grew out of the Global Climate Strike in 2019. The organizing efforts led to a referendum vote in 2020 in which 90% of students supported divestment. About 5% of Rutgers’s $1.6 billion endowment is invested in fossil fuels, and under the terms of the agreement, it will now cease new fossil fuel investment and divest from passive index funds with fossil fuel investments. It said it also plans to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency and that the school’s investment office will annually report on divestment progress.…

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