AAUP and administration reach agreement – The Rider News

By Shaun Chornobroff

After months of stiff negotiations that continued through the school year and led to teachers picketing on move-in days, Rider’s teachers’ union and administration agreed to a tentative contract on Sunday. September 11, averting a strike and allowing the university to return to normal. transactions pending completion of the transaction.

Finalization of the five-year agreement hinges on ratification by Rider’s chapter of the American Association of University Teachers (AAUP) and the university’s board of trustees.

“Representatives from the administration and the AAUP met all summer to negotiate the terms of a new collective agreement. These negotiations resulted in a mutual agreement on [Sept. 11]in which the parties have agreed to a wide range of changes,” said Rider Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications Kristine Brown.

The parties met at 1 p.m. on September 11, and at 4:30 p.m. that afternoon the university sent out an announcement that an agreement had been reached.

“I think what helped us get a deal was the support from our members, the actions we took and also the support we got from the American Federation of Teachers and a New Jersey guy. [level]AAUP President David Dewberry said in a phone interview with The Rider News after negotiations ended. “It certainly helped demonstrate that we have the resources and the determination to do what we need to do to get a fair deal.”

The union and administration have declined to give details of the deal at this time, with several AAUP leaders saying they want to present the terms to members before revealing them to The Rider News.

Before reaching an agreement, the administration and the union had to agree on several temporary extensions, and during this time, union members wore cranberry AAUP t-shirts in protest during the fall convocation. on September 1 and participated in an information picket on September 4 and 5 as the students moved into their dorms.

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At his September 8 meeting, which took place the day before negotiations resumed, Dewberry estimated that more than 200 people attended the meeting which he says is by far the largest union meeting during his tenure at school.

“They sent a message to the bargaining team that they were prepared to take any action, including a strike, to obtain a fair contract,” Dewberry said. “I think that message was heard by me, the negotiating team and I have no doubt that it reached the administration for that purpose, and I think that’s part of the reason why we’ve seen a change in their approach throughout the negotiations.”

Despite reaching a deal, Rider’s recent financial troubles are still on Dewberry’s mind.

“It’s good to have a contract, but if the finances are as bad as the administration has described them, we still have room to worry about the future of Rider and we hope that we will have good leadership. who can promote this and work in this direction,” said the president of the union.

As Rider recovers economically from longstanding financial insecurity that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and ushers in what it hopes will be an era of financial stability, the administration hopes this deal can improve what has been a difficult relationship between Dell’Omo and university faculty.

Brown said: “While by its nature the collective bargaining process can invoke a certain level of anxiety as deadlines approach, the fact is that the parties have long worked collaboratively at the table to find solutions. mutually agreeable solutions to what are often complex issues.

Brown said the administration has offered to hold labor-management meetings with union representatives in an effort “to proactively focus on continuing to solidify the relationship between the parties.” We hope the offer will be accepted. »

Earnest L. Veasey