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AP: Labor Unions to Endorse University Merger Bill

AP: Labor Unions to Endorse University Merger Bill

AP: Labor Unions to Endorse University Merger Bill Steven A. Cholewiak, flickr

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Union negotiator tells The Associated Press labor is "98 percent" satisfied with changes to the bill.

Labor leaders representing 30,000 workers from all the unions that would be affected by a far-reaching plan to realign Rutgers, Rowan and the University of Medicine and Dentistry - are endorsing the proposal.

Union negotiator Jean Pierce tells The Associated Press labor is "98 percent" satisfied with changes to the bill that add collective bargaining and job protections and help ensure University Hospital in Newark remains viable.

But concerns remain about the authority of a new governing board over Rowan and Rutgers-Camden and funding for University Hospital.

The union coalition includes the Communications Workers of America and American Association of University Professors. It plans to issue a statement at Monday's Budget Committee hearing.

Meanwhile, Rutgers' trustees have hired a high-powered constitutional lawyer to challenge the higher education restructuring legislation.