FAQ: What’s going on with the campus unions?

Q:Why are the faculty, adjunct faculty, professional staff, and office staff rallying so much this semester?

A: Both the AFT, which represents full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and professional staff, and the CWA, which represents support staff, have been without contracts for nearly 2 years.

Q:Why should students and their families care?

A: The struggle to get new union contracts benefits students and the public.

  • A quality faculty cannot be recruited and retained when working conditions, benefits, and pay are worsened.
  • A weak and demoralized faculty and staff cannot inspire and educate students.
  • A strong faculty and staff are students’ best ally in fighting for a system of high-quality, affordable public higher education and for advocating against shifting education costs on to the backs of students and their families.
  • We need education for the many, not tax breaks for the privileged few.
  • By supporting us, you will be supporting yourself. Many students will one day be employed in the public sector where strong unions will be important to your future work lives.

Q: Won’t tuition increase if the university has to pay more in salaries?

A: No. The University can balance its budget to factor in salary increases. More importantly, it is not increases in faculty salaries that have driven tuition increases over the years. The cause of tuition increases is underfunding by the State. We should all—students, faculty, staff, and administration—be pushing the State to increase funding for higher education. Other states provide much higher levels of funding, and New Jersey residents deserve equal access to higher education.

Q: How can I help?

A: Here are some things you can do:

  • Attend the Board of Trustees meeting with us on Friday, April 28 at 10:30 am in the UC Multi-purpose room to demand that the Board address these issues.
  • Write to WPU President Waldron and call on her to support a fair contract for faculty and staff.
  • Contact your local legislators to push for more funding for higher education at the state level.
    Spread the word to friends, families, and colleagues!

For more information or to volunteer to do more, contact:
Maggie Williams (williamsm@aft-local-1796.org)
Richard Kearney (virtualkearney@gmail.com)
Terence Finnegan (finneganterence@msn.com)