How Rider AAUP gained crucial bargaining power & activated their community with Raftr

In an effort to achieve more favorable terms for their members, an increasing number of union leaders are turning to private, digital communities to harness the power of their collective – And that’s exactly what the team at the Rider University Chapter of the AAUP did.


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Rider AAUP

Rider AAUP initially sought out Raftr to help build power & facilitate secure communication between the faculty union and its members.


Raftr for Unions

Key Features Used:
  • 1:1 & Group Messaging
  • Resource Hub
  • Polls

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How Rider AAUP Harnessed Digital Community to Avoid a Strike & Achieve the Best Contract Possible

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The Rider chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) represents faculty interests on campus.

With a focus on fair labor practices and academic freedom, Rider AAUP works to promote the well-being of their members and improve the quality of higher education. The organization advocates for faculty rights, provides resources and support to members, and serves as a collective voice for the academic community.

Through its efforts, Rider AAUP seeks to create a more just and equitable university environment for all.

Enter Raftr.

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The Task

As the sole and exclusive bargaining representative for all full and part-time adjunct faculty, librarians, and professional athletic staff, the Rider AAUP team were looking for effective ways to mobilize and organize their members through tough negotiation periods.

While the general body of faculty had decreased over time, the team was hopeful to see an increase in support and activism, which they attributed to worsening faculty conditions, across the board.

Rider AAUP was in search of a private and secure digital space that would help facilitate quick communication between the union and its members, and disseminate important information quickly, while gaining independence from the administration.

The tool also needed to help the Rider AAUP team:

  • Create a real support system for members.
  • Grow power to fight and uphold faculty rights.

“Part of our ability to be effective in negotiation is going to be our ability to have the administration believe that yes, we will in fact strike if there aren’t certain things met.

I think Raftr helped with that because, even though the administration is not on Raftr, I think they knew that we had this really nice communication spot and were able to reach everybody relatively easily. Personally, I believe that that helped us have a little bit more move to our argument; that yes, in fact, we are a collective and we’re ready to fight for what we believe we need.”

Quinn Cunningham, President

Rider AAUP


Rider AAUP’s Chief Negotiating Officer, Jeff Halpern, and At-Large Executive Member, Emre Yetgin, brought up the idea of Raftr as a communication tool that was separate from the University Systems – unlike their institutional emails and shared drives.

During the summer of 22 – when conversations with Raftr began – the sentiment at Rider AAUP was extremely tense due to several years of no raises and decreased faculty benefits.

Faculty were already very close to what Emre Yetgin (At-Large Executive Member at Rider AAUP) described as “the bottom,” and the negotiating team knew that things had the potential to get very heated and that a strike was very likely on the horizon.

By leveraging Raftr during their negotiations, Rider AAUP leaders were able to:

  • Stop relying on ineffective mass communication.
  • Easily segment their audience for precise, targeted outreach.
  • Connect union members to one another & their union leaders.
  • Leverage polls and Raftr community insights to measure member sentiment.
  • Give faculty a safe space – unmonitored by admins – to speak candidly.
  • Establish secure lines of communication that would not be affected by a lockout.
  • Achieve more favorable outcomes, while avoiding a strike.


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Final Thoughts

In order to combat growing pressures and worsening faculty conditions, the Rider University Chapter of the AAUP sought out a private digital community platform that allowed members to easily connect to one another, their union leaders, and easily access important resources – all independent from the University’s systems.

By leveraging a Raftr Community for their union, the team at Rider AAUP was able to open new, secure lines of communication for their members and harness the power of community, ultimately leading to more favorable outcomes – all without striking.

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