LAWRENCEVILLE — The first day of classes at Rider University could be affected by a faculty job action.

The Rider chapter of the AAUP, the union representing the faculty, claims the school is breaking a 40-year tradition and will not extend its current contract, which expires on Thursday, while negotiations continue.

The front page of the union website has a countdown to a Sept. 1 strike date and is recruiting students and staff to man picket lines.

The union, which represents 580 part-and-full time professors, librarians, coaches and athletic trainers, accused Rider of misrepresenting its financial situation to unjustly get over $10 million in concessions.

The union plans a meeting on Thursday at noon ahead of the school's opening fall convocation for faculty and staff. It voted "no confidence" in Dell'Omo last spring.

"Since early June, the university and AAUP leadership, representing Rider faculty and athletic staff, have been negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. This bargaining process is taking place at a critical juncture in the University’s history," Rider spokeswoman Kristine Brown said.

Brown said the the school wants to "reach a fair balance between the interests of our faculty and staff and the necessary short and long-term structural adjustments for the University to achieve overall financial health."

Student move-in day is scheduled for Sunday.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.

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