Article 34 – Professional Development

I. Requests for attendance at professional conferences, workshops, seminars or conventions shall be submitted in writing to the employee’s supervisor at least thirty (30) days prior to the event. The request must describe in detail how the professional development is of specific benefit to the employee’s position/department, the time required to be away from work, and any costs, including travel expenses, involved.

The supervisor will advise the employee of their decision approving or denying attendance at professional conferences, workshops, seminars or conventions in writing within ten (10) business days of the submission of the request.

Approval of such requests shall be subject to available funds and shall not be unreasonably denied.

If attendance at professional conferences, workshops, seminars, or conventions has been approved and the professional conference, workshop, seminar, or convention is being held at a time that is not during an employee’s regular work schedule, the employee may request an alternate work schedule in order to attend. Any such request shall not be unreasonably denied.

If an employee whose regular work schedule is an afternoon or night shift is approved to attend the requested professional development during non-work hours, the employee will be released from their scheduled work shift on the date(s) of the event for an amount of time equal to the non-work hours spent at the event, not to exceed the number of hours in the employee’s regularly scheduled workday.

An employee will be notified in advance of the costs involved with attendance at professional conferences, workshops, seminars, or conventions that may be eligible for reimbursement. All such reimbursement must be in accordance with University policies and school, division, department, and other applicable guidelines and shall be subject to the availability of departmental or other funds allocated for professional development for which the employee is eligible.

Employees may apply to attend university-sponsored professional conferences, workshops, seminars, or conventions that benefit the employee’s position/department. If the sponsor of the university-sponsored professional conference, workshop, seminar, or convention is not the employee’s department, the employee will be permitted to apply for reimbursement opportunities made available by the sponsoring department. The sponsoring department shall have sole and exclusive discretion over all aspects of the application and selection process.

Employees who are not required to attend the Rutgers Defensive Driving course by their department but who want to take the course may request to do so at a time and date that is mutually convenient to the employee and the supervisor. Such a request shall not be unreasonably denied. All costs associated with taking the course for those employees who are not required to attend shall be borne by the employee.

II. With the exception of a valid driver’s license, the University agrees to reimburse negotiations unit employees, upon prior written approval by a supervisor authorized to grant such approval, for costs associated with obtaining and maintaining any certification(s) and/or license(s) required by the

University or the State of New Jersey for the position in which they are currently employed by the University and which the University has determined is necessary for the performance of the essential functions of the employee’s position. This Section II shall not apply to expenses covered by University Policy 40.4.1, which shall continue to govern the reimbursement of expenses as set forth in that Policy.

III. No grievance under this article shall be eligible for arbitration.

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