Rutgers AAUP- AFT Claims Lack of Equal Pay

By Rebecca Vidal

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The Rutgers AAUP-AFT (American Association of University Professors - American Federation of Teachers) held a rally and picketed regarding equal pay for graduate workers, part-time lecturers, postdoctoral researchers, and EOF counselors outside of Douglass Student Center Wednesday afternoon.  

They aimed at bringing awareness of multiple salary inequality issues that they claim occur within Rutgers University.  

For instance, AAUP-AFT protested an apparent lack of salary equality among tenure-track faculty throughout the three schools (Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick).  According to the organization’s website, “on average, the given Camden faculty earn 80% and the given Newark faculty earn 90% of the salaries of their New Brunswick peers”.  They failed to acknowledge potential contributing factors besides location.

AAUP-AFT also pushed for the hiring of more ethnic minorities and females. Their website offers data on race and ethnicity. One line graph shows that the majority of Rutgers TT (Tenured and Tenure Track) faculty since 1997 are white; however, it also shows a decrease of white faculty and an increase of minority faculty members over the past decade. By solely looking at ethnicity, it disregards other important factors, such as meeting job qualifications.

Furthermore, there doesn’t seem to be any concrete data to support AAUP-AFT’s claim that women faculty members are paid substantially less than their male counterparts. Their data comes from a “climate survey”, which simply questioned faculty members’ perceptions of their work environment. 

Their website offers some more statistics regarding these topics. 

AAUP-AFT’s main concern is abiding solely by identity politics rather than hiring those most suited for the job.  Attending a highly liberal institution poses such skepticism.  Although Rutgers AAUP-AFT may host good intentions, hiring more females or minorities merely for the sake of doing so will not benefit future generations in academia.  An academic institution should hire lecturers with the most knowledge and expertise within their respective fields.  

Rebecca VidalComment