In the Union of Rutgers Administrators membership meeting on Monday, April 10th, members approved a motion to launch a strike pledge.
Why are we taking a strike pledge (and a potential strike authorization vote)?
We are taking a strike pledge drive because our members approved a motion to launch a strike pledge. More than that, though, this strike pledge comes after over ten months of bargaining that has produced little to no movement on our core demands—raises in line with inflation, telework & equity for our essential staff, career pathways, job security, and more. We are taking a strike pledge (and potential strike authorization vote) in order to gauge if we have the power to win the contract that we deserve.
What is a strike pledge?
A strike pledge is NOT a vote to authorize a strike—that would take place through an official vote of the union membership at a later date. A strike pledge sends a message to the administration that we’re ready to take action to win a fair contract, including a strike if necessary. An important part of a strike pledge is you committing to do outreach to make this happen. This includes making phone calls to members, talking to your colleagues, attending a building or campus meeting, and more.
If enough people pledge to strike, are we then on strike?
No, a strike pledge is NOT a vote to authorize a strike but it signals we will likely head towards one in the near future. A strike authorization vote (SAV) is the formal way to prepare to strike.
How is a pledge different from a strike authorization vote?
A strike pledge is a step just before a strike authorization vote. A strike pledge is not binding, it gives our union officers, bargaining team, and member organizers an idea of how the membership feels so they can decide if they have the power in numbers to move forward with a strike authorization vote. Additionally, only members can vote in a strike authorization vote; non-members and members alike can participate in the pledge.
How does a strike pledge fit into the process of actually going on strike?
Step 1: Members indicate their willingness to go on strike and commit to membership outreach. A strike pledge is an important way to tell Rutgers administration that we’re ready to take action and also to determine the power of the membership to move forward in taking a strike authorization vote.
Step 2: If the strike pledge indicates a majority of members (1300) are ready to take action and move towards a strike, a strike authorization vote is presented to URA members.
Step 3: If a significant majority of members vote yes on a strike authorization vote, this allows for union officers to call for a strike, if the bargaining process is not moving forward.
If we go on strike, will we face disciplinary action?
We can expect members to be threatened with, and possibly receive, disciplinary action such as a letter of reprimand. To settle a strike, our bargaining team would demand that discipline for members who strike peacefully be dropped.