Last year, Rutgers University asked for a wage freeze for its 13,000 employees in exchange for not cutting any positions. This year, the state Legislature cut aid to the university by 15%.
The result: No thaw this year in the pay freeze. That has unions representing university employees steamed.
Faculty and staff bargaining units are threatening to sue because they voluntarily agreed to the wage freezes last year with the understanding they would receive them this year.
The state committed to a 4% cap on tuition and fees at Rutgers to avoid overburdening students and their tuition-paying parents. So university administrators say their hands are tied.
The unions’ might be, too. If they successfully sue for pay increases, the state could respond by cutting jobs.