Rutgers University Students Protest Pay Freeze For Campus Workers

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Five months after Rutgers University undergraduates staged a two-day sit in to protest tuition hikes, students returned to the campus administration building in New Brunswick today to stage another protest.

This time, security refused to let the protesters inside the door. But the 10 students — all members of Rutgers United Students Against Sweatshops — got Rutgers President Richard McCormick to come outside of the Old Queens administration building so they could demand the university lift its pay freeze on union workers.

"It’s money that should have been paid in the first place," said Steven Manicastri, a senior political science and history major from Edison.

Rutgers remains in a bitter dispute with its professors and other unionized workers over a 2010 decision to cancel their raises due to budget problems. Union members say the university violated their contracts.

The student protesters attempted to present McCormick with a toilet plunger as a symbol of the workers who clean Rutgers’ buildings daily and haven’t received a raise. But McCormick refused to accept the plunger.

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