NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - The labor situation between a union representing some 5,000 Rutgers faculty and the school has unexplicably become part of the 2020 Presidential campaign.
Two presidential candidates, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Cory Booker, have pledged their support for the Rutgers American Association of University Professors and American Federation of Teachers (AAUP-AFT).
“I stand with AAUP-AFT Rutgers professors who are prepared to strike in order to defend affordable, quality higher education. When we organize and stand together, we win. #UnionStrong,” read a post on Sanders’ official Twitter account Monday night. It was then retweeted by the AAUP-AFT’s account.
Sanders' tweet was first reported by the Daily Targum, the official student newspaper of Rutgers.
The independent candidate's suport was matched by Booker, a Demorcratic candidate.
“Educators at every level of our education system deserve better. I support the Rutgers AAUP-AFT in this fight for equality & dignity. Rutgers faculty are on the front lines every day for their students — we should all be united in the movement to support them,” according to a post by Booker on Wednesday.
The same day as Booker took to Twitter, union members rallied outside a board of governors meeting on the Newark campus as a “final warning” in contract negotiations, signaling that a strike is inching nearer.
Labor leaders have not given a clear timeline for when members might strike, but Rutgers AAUP - AFT Vice President David Hughes told TAPinto Newark reporter Rebecca Panico the bargaining session scheduled for next Monday could be pivotal.