NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers' administration remains committed to a new course scheduling system despite a vote by faculty members Friday demanding a halt to its implementation.
At least for now, students in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden will be utilizing CourseAtlas when they log on starting in March to sign up for fall 2020 classes. The university has turned to the platform in an attempt to balance student demand, instructor preferences, and available classroom space in creating course schedules.
According to a statement provided to TAPinto New Brunswick by a university spokesman, "Approximately 100 out of more than 1,000 faculty members from the School of Arts and Sciences attended Friday’s meeting. Rutgers supports our faculty’s right to voice their opinions and to advance important campus conversations. The University also is committed to enhancing our students’ educational experience by decreasing their time-to-degree and the associated financial burden.
Officials for Rutgers AAUP-AFT, which represents some 5,000 faculty members, there were a few hundred faculty at Friday's emergency meeting.
Whatever the number, Rutgers' Administration doesn't seem concerned by the vote nor the lawsuit the labor union filed on Friday morning.
The union filed a formal unfair labor practice charge against the administration over CourseAtlas.
David Hughes, the treasurer of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, told TAPinto New Brunswick that the union filed the complaint with the Public Employees Relation Commission. He said that if an employer wants to change schedules of a unionized workforce, the employer is obligated by law to come before the union and negotiate it.
Hughes said the administration agreed to discuss CourseAtlas with union representatives in the spring when AAUP-AFT representatives were in negotiations for a new contract. Rutgers and the union reached a tentative contract agreement in April after the rank and file had voted to give the labor representative the authority to call a strike.
Hughes said that the administration has not kept its word to negotiate over CourseAtlas.
"It became clear at the bargaining session last month that they had not spoken in good faith in April and they still don't believe this is bargainable," Hughes said. "They're not willing to put anything in writing in terms of the practice of the system and they are not willing to make anything enforceable."
According to a statement from a Rutgers spokeman, "The University does not discuss pending litigation and therefore has no comment on the unfair practice charge."