Rutgers Strike Results in Big Wage Increases, Job Security Promises - The Monday AM Quickie 4/17/23

In case anyone else is keeping score, the boys over at Harvard, Larry Summers and Jason Furman, are completely wrong about inflation being driven by a wage-price spiral.- Robert

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Rutgers Workers Win Huge Pay Boosts After Historic Strike

A 9,000-worker-strong, first ever strike at Rutgers University last week resulted in a tentative deal that would substantially raise wages for the school’s adjunct faculty, graduate workers, tenured professors, and other staff. According to, the deal will:

Increase salaries across-the-board for full-time faculty and counselors by at least 14% by July 1, 2025.
Provide a 43.8% increase in the per-credit salary rate for part-time lecturers over four years and “at the same time significantly strengthen their job security.“
Increase the minimum salary for postdoctoral fellows and associates by 27.9% over four years.
Provide “substantial enhancements in wages as well as a commitment to multi-year university support for our teaching assistants and graduate assistants.” They would receive health care coverage and free tuition and fees, as well as seeing their 10-month salaries increase to $40,000 over the course of the contract.

In a heart-warming display of solidarity, tenured Rutgers professors refused to make a deal with the university until it did right by low-paid adjuncts and graduate workers. Donna Murch, president of the Rutgers chapter of AAUP-AFT articulated the unions’ vision for uniting all Rutgers workers on Democracy Now:

“[This is] a fight to think about adjuncts, postdocs, graduate workers, EOF counselors, contingent, nontenure-track full-time faculty, as well as tenure stream. And I mention all those job categories because this industrial vision is about holding up the different job categories, figuring out how they come together, and they work in solidarity.”

You also cannot discount the role of  impeccable vibes at the walk-out for the win.

All classes are set to resume today as the unions suspend the strike pending a rank-and-file vote to ratify the deal.

Social Conservative Activists Deliberately Chose Transgender People as Their New Scapegoats

Several social conservative movement activists admitted to the New York Times that the targeting and villainization of trans people was a conscious political strategy after the battle over gay marriage was lost.

“We knew we needed to find an issue that the candidates were comfortable talking about,” said Terry Schilling, the president of American Principles Project, a social conservative advocacy group. “And we threw everything at the wall.”

LGBTQ rights groups quoted in the piece argue that the old frame of “parental rights,” resurgent in the moral panic over trans people in school sports and bathrooms, has been harnessed for further trans exclusion and oppression. They make a convincing case. There has been a tidal wave of anti-trans state legislation over the past four years. Along with the hysterics over drag shows, book banning, restricting speech in schools, and denial of gender-affirming care for minors, three states aim to ban gender-affirming care for young adults too.

Discord Leaks: Russians Say 99% of Fake Social Media Profiles Undetected; Taiwan Vulnerable to Chinese Air Attack

Picking up where Corey left off Friday, here are some new stories the Washington Post gleaned from Discord confidential document leak:

  • Pentagon assessments say that Taiwan is unlikely to withstand a Chinese air attack, and American intelligence is concerned it will not be able to detect a coming invasion because of the Chinese military’s use of civilian ships.
  • Leaked documents from U.S. Cyber Command states that Russian operators boasted that their fake accounts only get detected 1 percent of the time. Academics and intelligence experts interviewed by the Post say that this figure might be an exaggeration, but even so, it’s plausible that Russian disinformation capabilities have increased since the 2016 presidential election.

It’s not a great time for one of the most influential social media companies to be controlled by someone as lax about security as Elon Musk. Though, lax is also what I'd call giving intelligence access to a 21-year-old sh*tposter.


  • Four Killed at Alabama Sweet Sixteen Party This is the 32nd mass shooting to occur this month in the United States. via Axios.
  • Dominion Case Delayed Until Tomorrow Shucks, we'll have to wait another day to see how the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit starts out. via CBS News.
  • Fighting Erupts Between Rival Factions in Sudan, Killing 74 Civilians A paramilitary force led by the country’s Vice President clashed with the Sudanese military, leaving 45 civilians dead in the capital Khartoum alone. via the Washington Post.
  • Former Indian MP Killed on Live TV Atiq Ahmed, a former MP who was serving a life sentence in jail, and his brother Ashraf Ahmed were in police custody when three men on motorcycles shot and killed them while they were being interviewed on live TV. via the Guardian.
  • Clarence Thomas Claimed Income from Defunct Realty Firm A family business transferred its holdings to another company, but the Thomas’ continued to report income under the first company’s name over the last two decades. via the Washington Post.
  • Personalized mRNA Cancer Vaccine Has Promising Trial Trial results showed that the combination of the vaccine and immunotherapy reduced the risk of melanoma recurrence by almost half. via NBC News.



That’s how many companies the FTC warned of penalties for false advertising practices. The agency is trying to reassert its long-dormant statutory power to penalize deceptive marketing. via WSJ.


4/17 Happy Monday! Sam is back from vacation! He and Emma speak with Jon D. Erickson, professor of sustainability science and policy at The University of Vermont, to discuss his recent book The Progress Illusion: Reclaiming Our Future from the Fairytale of Economics. Then, they're joined but Justin Alo of Teamsters Local 542 and Matt Leichenger of Teamsters Local 804 to discuss UPS workers' campaign for a new contract.


Trump PAC Launches ‘Pudding Fingers’ Attack Ad On DeSantis

This is absolutely revolting, but...undoubtedly effective.

Pelosi Claims Calls For Feinstein's Resignation Are 'Unfair'

Establishment Democrats’ respect for Feinstein is outweighing their respect for the nation.


“Senators, congresspeople, and their staffs are supposed to be the engines of legislative policymaking, responding to and accountable to the preferences of their constituents. CBO is supposed to be the camera, taking a look at these policies and reflecting back their impacts on the federal budget and the broader economy. Over the last few decades, the roles have reversed, with members of Congress simply writing policy that reflects back what modelers and scorekeepers dictate. It’s the CBO’s world, and Congress is just living in it.”

-- Lindsay Owens, Executive Director of the Groundwork Collaborative, in her new piece in the American Prospect likening economic modeling from institutions like the Congressional Budget Office to an invisible straight jacket for policymaking.

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