For any employer, contract negotiations can be difficult and stressful.
The College of New Jersey is certainly feeling the pressure with several
hundred professors and staff members rallying outside its administrative building.
Many employment relationships are "at-will," meaning they can
be ended at any time by the employer without cause. Some employers, like
the government, often make create employment contracts to specify the
details of the employment. When these contracts need to be renegotiated,
it can often be contentious and threats of a strike may be common. Employers
in New Jersey should be aware of the governing state and federal employment
laws and how they may affect their ability to hire and retain successful
employees and avoid future litigation via
The American Federation of Teachers spokesperson said the demands of the
state are unfair and the organization is ready to push back. The organization
represents more than 360 faculty members and 120 professorial staff members.
They are operating under last year's contract because they have been
unable to agree and are currently without a contract.
The largest issue, according to the union, is the state's push for
localized contracts rather than a single agreement between the state and
the union. Each institution's president would then negotiate the local
This would likely give the union far less bargaining power because fewer
faculty members would be involved in each contract. For unions, their
strength generally lies in numbers so it would be much easier to negotiate
with a smaller group.
While negotiations are currently stalled, the parties hope to avoid escalating
the issues by coming to an agreement by the end of the summer.
Source: The Times of Trenton, "
College of New Jersey professors rally to protest contract dispute," David Karas, April 27, 2012