Solidarity Statement for Strike
April 10th, 2023,
In the spirit of solidarity and in defense of public education at Rutgers University, we, the undersigned board of the Graduate Student Association (GSA), affirm the right for the job action of a strike taken by post-docs, graduate workers, adjunct faculty (part-time lecturers), non-tenure track faculty, and tenure track faculty who are members of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT and Rutgers AAUP-AFT PTLFC union. Additionally, we request that all members of the GSA community not only refrain from attempting to dissuade participation in these union activities, but instead, encourage and actively support the strike and the organizing efforts of higher education workers.
We stand in solidarity with members of our community who are participating in this strike. We sincerely hope that both the Union and the University will be able to reach an agreement swiftly and agree on a strong contract that can help facilitate a more equitable, accessible and socially just university.
On March 24th and April 7th 2023, the Rutgers University Senate (Senate Statement 1, Senate Statement 2) voted overwhelmingly calling on President Holloway to issue a statement and distribute it by email to all relevant lists declaring that there will be no retaliation against any member of the beloved community and encouraging all Rutgers faculty and administrators to sign this pledge: “If a strike occurs, we respect that all persons (students, faculty, or staff) have a right to make a decision to participate or not participate in the strike and that we will not retaliate against either decision.” The Faculty Senate in Camden adopted a similar resolution. The English and Spanish and Portuguese departments also released their solidarity statement in support of the AAUP-AFT Contract Campaign. This statement, from the GSA, comes in the same vein as the above statements.
To stand in solidarity with this strike, we have suspended any of our regularly scheduled GSA events – including our banner event of the year – Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week and will be postponing our GSA elections.
For all our Graduate student Organizations (GSOs) – during this period, we will be processing reimbursements and continuing with various functions of the GSA as scheduled. Please continue to direct any questions you may have to our Executive council. The GSA will not ask any GSOs to change their plans, as we know lots of time, energy, planning, and in some cases, money, have already gone into events. We will leave it up to each GSO e-board if you should cancel the event.
Each one of us, regardless of occupational position, benefits from our union’s collective bargaining, whether we choose to be actively involved or not, and therefore should not impede the efforts of our colleagues to advocate for themselves and for us all.
It is our sincerest hope that the GSA community will commit to supporting all workers in order to help reinforce our strength as a collective union.
The Graduate Student Association of Rutgers New Brunswick