Rutgers University has announced it will freeze salaries for its 13,000 employees, canceling some pay raises that were to take effect next month.
School officials say the move will save $30 million and offset some of the $46.6 million in state funding cut from its budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Without the freeze, Chief Budget Officer Philip Furmanski said in a note to staff Thursday, the university would have to "lay off large numbers."
The university's 12 employee unions have criticized the change and were discussing options Friday to challenge it. The Union of Rutgers Administrators, which represents about 2,000 workers, has filed a request for arbitration with the state Public Employee Relations Commission. President Lucye Millerand called the freeze "unfair and irresponsible."
"It's not about austerity," she said. "It's simply about deciding that they want to run their business as if it were a small, private, closely held company." - Chelsea Conaboy