We wanted to take a moment and update you on few items:
Bargaining: We have made some progress in completing our collective bargaining agreement. Earlier this month, the Rutgers Administration, finally, after a year and half, included funds aimed at improving inequity for certain RWJMS faculty. In addition, it provided new incentives for research faculty-- such as bonuses for receiving training grants and R01s. Their proposal still contains harmful items such as salary decreases based on arbitrary criteria and wage increases that are out of sync with what other unions received. However, we are encouraged by this progress.
An important aspect of the compensation plan is how NJMS Clinical faculty will be paid starting July 1st of this year and continuing into the subsequent fiscal year. The University’s plan has the faculty taking on a great deal of risk associated with any downturn in collections, despite having much less control over the practice. We hope to find a fair resolution to that question.
Parental leave also remains an open issue. We are encouraged that NJ Senator Loretta Weinberg and many others have called on the administration to agree to our proposal to modernize this important benefit. We think it is shameful that the football coach gets perks such as a country club membership and private plane, but our faculty still lacks essential benefits. See https://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/union-says-rutgers-focus-on-athletics-hurts-faculty/
AAMC Standpoint Survey: Last year, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) conducted a survey concerning the morale and overall climate at RWJMS. The survey revealed significant issues including compensation inequity, lack of transparency in decision making, and lack of shared governance. We are pleased that the Rutgers Administration conducted this survey.
After mounting pressure from us and faculty leaders in the University Senate, the Dean agreed to convene a taskforce at RWJMS to address many of the underlying issues that have contributed to faculty discontent. That task force meets today. We hope this effort is a successful one, and that it is replicated at other RBHS Schools.
Termination of Tenured Faculty: Last December culminated a year with the highest number of terminations for tenured faculty in many decades. In 2019, Rutgers attempted to fire four RBHS faculty with tenure and threatened a fifth. We remain deeply concerned-as the administration refuses to extend the due process standards concerning the Rutgers Academic Freedom Policy 60.5.1 to legacy UMNDJ members. Equally, it has insisted on removing legacy UMNDJ language from the NJMS Bylaws concerning a salary guarantee to tenured faculty. We will do everything in our power to represent these faculty members and push back against these attacks on tenure.
We appreciate your support.