Newark members are gathering for merriest holiday cheer on Wednesday, November 30 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at McGovern’s. Look for your Evite or register here.
Remind your co-workers to complete the URA Salary Improvements Survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/salryimprovt. Yes, of course, we all want an improved salary. This survey looks at the different types of raises we have proposed, to get specific feedback on member priorities.
October Bargaining Updates
|What Does It Take To Get A Fair Contract?
|Tentative Agreements* (TA’s) were reached on two articles.
1. Bereavement Leave: One member spoke at the bargaining session in September; he was denied Bereavement Leave to attend his grandfather’s services because the arrangements for military honors pushed the date back many weeks. Our T.A. provides up to 90 days to use Bereavement Leave. The article also states that requests for vacation leave for bereavement will not be unreasonably denied. (That’s already a protected right, but will assist our members and their managers in handling such situations).
2. Grievance Process: Management proposed eliminating Steps 1 and 2 of our Grievance procedure. Although Step 1 is informal, unwritten and non-precedential, URA stewards know it can be the most productive way to sit down with management and really problem-solve.
The T.A. retains the four steps of the grievance process. First we attempt to resolve the program informally (Step 1). If that does not work, we look for a resolution with the second-level supervisor of the person who filed the grievance (Step 2). For grievances not resolved within the department, we conduct a hearing with the Office of Labor Relations (Step 3), and the union may elect or go to binding arbitration (Step 4) through the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to defend members and our contract.
*Tentative Agreement means that neither the union nor management will seek any further changes to this provision. The revised article becomes part of the new contract if and when the new contract is ratified by the membership.
URA also gave management two detailed proposals to improve working conditions.
One, for a new article that would integrate our legal rights to job protection under Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), New Jersey Family Leave Act, NJ FLA and N.J. Security and Financial Empowerment Act (NJ SAFE) with our rights to sick leave and other paid time off. This proposal would put members in all departments under a single, clear set of guidelines, and allow maximum flexibility for members and their families in crisis.
The other would merge existing articles on Layoff (Art. 21) and Seniority (Art. 42) and revise Salary Adjustments (Art. 39) to increase the definitions of the seniority units, increase in-placement of members who have been laid off and peg salary adjustments to the workweek (35/37.5 or 40) and FLSA overtime status.
More bargaining dates are scheduled on November 7, 14 and 27.
We hope that an accelerated schedule of talks means that management is prepared to talk seriously about salaries, job security and health insurance costs.
|The handful of union members at the bargaining table doesn’t mean much without the support of the hundreds of others across the University – including you!
This is what you can do in November:
November 12: Attend URA General Membership Meeting; Busch Campus Center, Room 116. Candidates for URA offices will make statements.
November 14: Join Bargaining Support rallies
Newark Campus 11am – 1 pm Samuels Plaza, Robeson Center Terrace
Cook Campus: 11:30 12:45 pm ASB II, Route 1 South (by Sears)
Sign up a co-worker as a union member.
This June’s Supreme Court decision Janus V. AFSCME was designed to break union’s bargaining power. Well, URA’s membership is still growing. When you sign up, and sign up a co-worker, you show management that you care about your future at Rutgers.
Host a building meeting.
Still not sure what’s going on at the table? Not clear what your rights are? Contact the URA office to schedule a lunchtime meeting with your co-workers to get the latest news and discuss your hyper-local concerns.
Give your Input: We all want fair pay. Take the Salary Improvement Survey to make your views clear: What does fair mean to you?
Stay in touch, email firstname.lastname@example.org, share union messages on social media
An important mid-term election is right around the corner. This time around, New Jersey is a battleground state.
We’ll be sending postcards to union members from key congressional districts around the state to remind them about the important issues, and urge them to the polls on November 6.
Lunch will be provided, so we can stuff envelopes and stuff our faces all at the same time.
Won’t you join us?
Friday, 10/19 12 noon-2pm, College Ave: Food Court, Rutgers Student Center
Monday, 10/22 12 noon-2pm, Douglass: Room 313, Hickman Hall
Tuesday, 10/23 12:30-2:30pm, Livingston: Room 215, Lucy Stone Hall
Wednesday, 10/24 12 noon-2pm, Knightsbridge: Room 135B, 33 Knightsbridge Rd.
Thursday, 10/25 12 noon-2pm, Camden: Room 102, Writer’s House 12 noon – 2 pm
Thursday, 10/25 12 noon-2pm, Busch: Food Court, Busch Campus Center
Thursday, 10/25 12 noon-2pm, Newark: Room 139, Conklin Hall
Open to stewards, building reps, activists, and democracy nerds — This activity will be successful if you come AND BRING YOUR CO-WORKERS.
Spread the word, bring a new member. This is not a candidate-based activity.
See you there!
URA General Membership Meeting
October 15 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm EDT
Room 116 ABC, Busch Student Center, Busch Campus
Video-conferencing with Newark and Camden Campus
Open to members only. Membership forms available at the door.
Agenda: Nominations of URA Officers and Candidates for AFTNJ Delegate Assembly
COPE 2018 Labor Walks Schedule
URA-AFT #1766 is participating in the annual NJ State AFL-CIO Labor Walks again this year. Members who participate will receive a stipend for each Labor Walk they participate in. Each member is encouraged to bring a relative/friend over 18 yrs old with them to participate and they will also receive a stipend. See the below schedule or download it here.
Labor Walk 2018 Schedule for URA-AFT Local #1766 (REVISED 10/9/18)
Saturdays: 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3 and all day 11/6 Election Day
9:00 am to noon, and Election Day/GOTV – am and pm shifts
SUPER PRIORITY and Priority LABOR WALKS
– URA member stipend – $50/walk & non-member stipend – $25/walk
Remember…the last day to register to vote in New Jersey is Tuesday, October 16th. Check to see if you are registered by going to https://nj.gov/state/elections/voting-information.html#vrf.
URA General Membership Meeting
October 15 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm EDT
Rm. 116 A, Busch Student Center, Busch Campus
[with Video‐conferencing with Newark and Camden Campus]
Newark Campus Lunchtime Meeting
October 18 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm EDT
Rm. 1123, Rutgers Business School, Newark
University Closure on December 24, 2018
You may have recently received an email from Senior Vice President Fernandez regarding university closure during this upcoming winter that said the following:
Employees in Legacy Rutgers Positions
Employees in legacy Rutgers positions shall not report to work unless otherwise instructed and are not required to charge credited leave time to receive compensation for the day. Employees in legacy Rutgers positions designated as Essential Services personnel, as defined in Policy 60.1.29, may be required to report for work on December 24, 2018 and remain at work that day as set forth in Policy 60.3.19.
Keep in mind that this benefit for Rutgers staff was first negotiated by the URA-AFT in 2007 and since then it has been extended by policy to others. This is one of the benefits of having a strong union and dedicated membership.
LIKE and FOLLOW us
and Twitter at
For the fifth time, our union will elect: President, Executive Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Campus Vice Presidents: Camden (1), Newark (1), New Brunswick(1)
Executive Board members: Camden (1), Newark (1), Off Campus/Extension (1), New Brunswick (5)
Term of Office: 2019-2021
- October 15, 5:30 PM. Nominations take place at General Membership Meeting, Rm. 116 A, Busch Student Center.
- November 30, Election Day
If you would like to verify that you are eligible for nomination or have questions, please read the URA‐AFT Constitution Article IV “Election of Officers”. If you still have questions please contact email@example.com.
Nominees: You must be a signed member in good standing. Remember to make every effort to be present (in‐person) at the nomination meeting on Monday, October 15, 2018; or accept nomination in writing and have acceptance document available at the October 15 meeting. Any eligible member may nominate him/herself or another eligible member. Please refer to URA‐AFT Constitution Article IV, Section III, items “d” and “e”.
Not Running? Could you help out the day of the election at the polling locations? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other URA Nominations Taking Place…
At the October 15 Membership Meeting, we will also nominate candidates for 10 delegate seats who will represent URA at the AFT New Jersey (“AFTNJ”) Delegate Assembly. AFTNJ is our union’s state-wide federation, uniting 30,000 members from PreK-12 schools and higher education institutions across the state. AFTNJ delegates convene four times a year to manage the affairs of the organization, debate policy and promote educational excellence and access.
Many of these meetings take place on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus. Each spring, AFTNJ hosts either a Legislative conference or the biennial Convention, or both. AFTNJ is our voice for legislative, policy and professional issues as they relate to administrative and professional staff in higher education.
AT THE TABLE:
- The URA Bargaining team met with Rutgers’ Management team for three bargaining sessions in September 2018, bringing the total number of sessions to 13 overall since April 2018.
- Tentative agreements were reached on Article 38 (Safety Committee) and Article 47 (Union-Employer Information Exchange). No new written proposals were exchanged with either side, but counterproposals were exchanged on Article 12 (Dining Services).
- Union members presented personal testimonies to proposals including: Bereavement Leave, Employees Living on Campus, and Dining Services.
- URA steward and subject expert Karen White from the Center for Women and Work at SMLR joined the team for a detailed discussion of management’s proposal on FMLA and other legal leave provisions. The URA’s information request to Rutgers management providing evidence of how Rutgers has administered FMLA/NJFLA/NJSAFE leave is still outstanding.
Why so much talk about FMLA and Sick Leave?
URA and our coalition partners are emphasizing protection for our FMLA and Sick Leave rights. Over 10 years, we have observed that Rutgers does NOT give equal treatment or provide clear guidelines on how to administer these legal protections.
Work/family balance…We have made many gains in this area:
- Expanding sick time to care for family members from 5 to 15 days
- Educating members on what laws like FMLA, NJFLA and NJSAFE can provide, and
- Guaranteeing the right to use sick time for medical appointments
Now, we are bargaining to establish clear, fair and workable contract language to protect our members who face health challenges. If Rutgers really believes in employee wellness, as it claims to, we believe that a win-win agreement can be found.
Real News from Management? Or not…
Don’t be fooled by Vivian Fernandez’s emails touting recent agreements with unions and their offer of 3% raises to the Teamsters and even some non-aligned employees.
You need to know that the Teamsters Local 97 only represents 1,700 employees in legacy UMDNJ titles and the Fraternal Order of Police Local 164, approximately 43 superior officers. Our URA-AFT 1766 represents 2,500 employees.
You also need to know what Vivian is leaving out of her emails:
- The Teamsters’ agreement says nothing about health insurance costs. How much of their increase will be eaten up by health care contributions? They don’t know.
- The Teamsters’ agreement does not protect their members’ jobs from massive privatization—Barchi and Strom are giving Rutgers’ clinical operations around the state to Barnabas Health…where Teamster jobs will be replaced by RWJ-Barnabas workers.
- The Teamsters agreed to language that will limit their rights to sick leave and FMLA/NJFLA protection. (See description of URA bargaining above.) Their FMLA will be charged concurrently with sick time (a major crisis could put one’s job in jeopardy much faster than the benefits URA-AFT members have now).
- The Fraternal Order of Police Local 164 agreement is retroactive to July 1, 2014 and runs out June 30, 2019 – meaning they will be back at the bargaining table in less than a year!
- Finally, non-aligned staff (Managerial, Professional, Supervisory and Confidential employees) have been “given” 3% for this year, but still don’t know how much their healthcare contributions will be…AND, they have no job security at all. They are “at-will employees” and can be fired at any time, for any reason.
Vivian Fernandez’s emails are calculated to persuade you to be disgruntled about and question the value of your union membership, in general, and tempt you into becoming impatient with unfinished contract negotiations involving YOUR own union.
Watch this video to see what union members are doing to ensure we negotiate a strong contract, not a meaningless sweetheart deal, that will benefit YOU as a URA member.
Join union members Thursday in Camden in their fight for contracts:
Between noon and 1 PM on October 4 members from all the unions on campus will be gathering in front of the Camden Campus Center, 326 Penn St., Camden, NJ for a speak out session. At 1:30 PM we will speak to the Board of Governors to insist that contract be settled inside the campus center.
URA Elections November 12, 2018
For the 5th time, our union will vote for the following offices:
President — Executive Vice President — Treasurer — Secretary
Campus Vice Presidents: Camden, Newark, New Brunswick
Executive Board members: Camden (1), Newark (1),
Off Campus/Extension (1), New Brunswick (5)
Term of Office is 2019–2021
On Monday, October 15 Nominees will be accepted for the above‐noted positions
If you would like to verify that you are eligible for nomination or have questions please read the URA‐AFT Constitution Article IV “Election of Officers” – type www.ura-aft.org in your browser. On the top bar scroll over “About URA‐AFT” and a drop down memo will appear. Click on “CONSTITUTION” and under Constitution click on “HERE”, scroll down to “ARTICLE IV, ELECTION OF OFFICERS”. If you still have questions please contact email@example.com.
NOMINEES – You must be a signed member in good standing. Remember to make every effort to be present (in‐person) at the nomination meeting on Monday, October 15, 2018; or accept nomination in writing and have acceptance document available at the October 15th meeting. Any eligible member may nominate him/herself or another eligible member. Please refer to URA‐AFT Constitution Article IV, Section III, items “d” and “e”.
Aren’t running for office but would like to help out the day of the election at the polling locations? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Us At President Barchi’s Address To The University Senate
Welcome to the Fall Semester at Rutgers. Hopefully you were able to get take a well-deserved break. Your URA bargaining team has been hard at work this summer and we are scheduled to meet again with management today, September 13. On that note, we are asking that you join us in asking President Barchi “Where does the money go?” Staff, faculty and students will be asking that and other tough questions on Friday, September 21 at the opening meeting for the University Senate. See this flier for additional information and join us in working towards a fair contract for union workers. Check out our Facebook page here to see our members leafleting on the Newark Campus last week.
Bargaining for a Fair Contract: Health Insurance
URA General Membership Meeting (video‐conferencing to Newark and Camden Campuses)
September 17 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm EDT
Rm. 116 A, Busch Student Center, Busch Campus
Video-conferencing with Newark Campus in Special Collections Rm, 4th Fl., Dana Library and Camden Campus in Rm. 231, Business and Science Bldg.
Ask President Barchi: “Where does the money go?” at the University Senate Meeting
September 21 @ 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm EDT
August 2018 Bargaining Update:
On August 13th, the URA bargaining team met with Rutgers management for our 10th meeting.
Management has proposed:
- FY19: No increase
- FY20: .5% Merit Pool with a range of distribution of .25%-.75%
- FY21: No increase
- FY22: .5% Merit Pool with a range of distribution of .25%-.75% Their proposal for TOTAL salary improvements over the next 4 years is 1.0%
- Increases to cost of meals Dining Services MUST pay
- Remove Step 1 and 2 from our Grievance Procedure
- Delete the Non-Hostile Workplace article from our contract
- Require use of FMLA concurrent with sick time
We have presented our Salary Improvements proposal which includes:
- FY19: Across-the-Board Raise with Lump Sum. Same amount for all members
- FY20: Across-the Board Percentage Raise
- Equity pool to bring members with more than 5 years’ service to midpoint
- Lump-sum rebate to defray cost of health insurance
- FY21: Across-the-Board Percentage Raise
- Merit pool for members who “Meet Standards” (in unit on first business day of the year)
- Lump-sum rebate to defray cost of health insurance
- FY22: Across-the-Board Percentage Raise
- Equity pool to bring members with more than 15 years’ service to top of range
- Merit pool for members who “Meet Standards”
- Lump sum rebate to defray cost of health insurance
Scandals and SNAFUs: Rutgers Needs Accountable Leadership
From Rutgers AAUP-AFT; posted on August 3, 2018 by swolf
We’re sending this message mid-summer because there have been so many scandals and SNAFUs that impact us. We are deeply concerned about the lack of accountable leadership at Rutgers. The high volume of summer communications from faculty to our union office suggests that many of you are equally distressed.
We are very concerned by the sudden resignation of Chancellor Dutta after barely a year in that position. We would like to know the nature of the disagreements about the university’s future between him and President Barchi. In our brief interactions with Chancellor Dutta, it appeared that he was open to working with our union around a number of shared goals to make Rutgers a truly great public university. For instance, he spoke of freezing—and even lowering—undergraduate tuition and fees. However, tuition went up
by 2.3% this year. We want to know, for the benefit of our members and students, what constituted the clash of visions between Chancellor Dutta and President Barchi.
Rutgers Must Stop Huge Payouts to Booted Coaches and Officials, Lawmakers Say
By Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are criticizing Rutgers University for spending millions on payouts to former coaches and officials who stepped down early or were booted from their jobs.
One influential Democrat said Tuesday she’ll call for a Senate hearing unless University President Robert Barchi can give her an explanation for the decisions.
“Rutgers is playing fast and loose with taxpayer money,” Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, said Tuesday. “Whose money do they think they’re throwing around here?”
August 16 @ 12:15 pm – 1:30 pm EDT
Room 346, Conklin Hall, Newark Campus
URA-AFT Workshop: Understanding the Reclassification Process 102
August 22 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm EDT
Room 122, Center for Law and Justice, Newark Campus
Report Back from 2018 AFT Convention
This year the AFT’s annual convention was held July 12-July 16, 2018 in the city of Pittsburgh, PA. Our motto this year was “We Care. We Fight. We Show Up…And We Vote.”
URA sent six dedicated members to represent our union.
Livingston Campus lead steward Leigh-Anne Cobb wrote about her experience attending convention:
As a first time delegate, I am now confidently prepared with examples and tools for meaningful conversations and outreach to our members. By serving on the Labor and the Economy Committee at the convention, I was able to witness first hand the dedication, authenticity and engagement I hope to attain “to continue the work of building membership and crafting a sure future for the union.”
Striking Workers Can Now Get Unemployment Benefits In New Jersey
Updated Aug 12; Posted Aug 10 by Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Verizon workers on strike picket outside the company’s Robbinsville location in August 2016.(Michael Mancuso | For NJ.com )
Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a law allowing striking workers to collect unemployment benefits in New Jersey.
State lawmakers first proposed the legislation two years ago as Verizon workers waged a six-week strike against the telecommunications giant’s contract demands. About 4,600 of the 40,000 East Coast employees on strike worked in New Jersey.