Categories
Health & Safety URA Contract

Your office temp should be between 68 to 79 degrees 

URA-AFT members should not be forced to work in temperatures that are outside of the range of PEOSH Indoor Air Quality Standards. Instead, they should be directed by their supervisors to work from home.

Steps To TakesJoint Health and Safety MOA
 The Joint Health and Safety MOA in our 2022-2026 Contract has provisions for what to do when indoor air quality in relation to temperature does not meet standards. Rutgers has agreed to follow the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) standards. Temperatures should be between the range of 68 to 79 degrees Fahrenheit. 
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If the University is unable to provide a workplace within the temperature range recommended by PEOSHA, at the discretion of the employees’ department head or designee, employees may be permitted to work from an alternate University location or work remotely. However, if a determination is made that the workplace temperature is unsafe or unhealthy, the University will immediately initiate remedial action, including relocating employees or permitting remote work. 
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Categories
URA Contract Win

Agreement Reached On Telework Goes Into Contract

On Tuesday, January 30, Coalition of Rutgers Unions (CRU) leaders met and reached agreement on telework with management. 

This language will update and replace Article 59 in our contract.  

 Some highlights include:

  • All unit employees are eligible to apply for a flexible work arrangement, whether you are non-exempt (eligible for overtime) or exempt (ineligible for overtime)
  • Ad hoc (temporary) remote work arrangements can be made
  • Seasonal modifications to a hybrid schedule can be made 
  • Written explanation must be provided if request is denied
  • Grievances can be filed 

See Full Agreement​ >>

Categories
URA Contract

Contract Education: Article 19, Just Cause/Discipline


One of the most important articles in our contract is Article 19, Just Cause & Discipline.  This article ensures that “no employee shall be discharged, suspended, disciplined, or receive a deficiency downgrade except for just cause.” Additionally, both URA and Rutgers University “affirm the concept of progressive discipline.”

The language of this article means that supervisors cannot discipline or discharge union members for trivial or manufactured reasons. They must provide evidence for any disciplinary actions. Additionally, except in cases of egregious misconduct, supervisors must follow the following disciplinary steps: a verbal warning, a written warning, a suspension, and termination
In our newest contract, we also clarified that a verbal warning must also be stated as a verbal warning when it is issued. 

These steps are also clearly laid out on UHR’s website, except that the new language clarifying what a verbal warning is has not been added. Our union has been able to roll back discipline in the past when these steps have not been followed.

Click here to see the most updated version of Just Cause in our 2022-2026 contract. If you are interested in learning more about the specific benchmarks that Rutgers has to meet in order to mete out disciplinary action, we encourage you to check out this 2014 article that our union produced on Just Cause. We also encourage you to check out this related article on Grievance; we will be providing a write-up of this article in a following e-blast.
The Communications Committee will be rolling out a series of educational materials, social media updates, and other member-centered materials in the spring semester. If you are interested in helping out with this work and joining the Communications Committee, please fill out this form out here.

Categories
URA Contract Win

Telework Agreement Reached

URA and other Coalition of Rutgers Unions (CRU) unions have reached an agreement with management on incorporating telework in our contract. Highlights include:

  • All unit employees are eligible to apply for a flexible work arrangement, whether you are non-exempt (eligible for overtime) or exempt (ineligible for overtime)
  • Ad hoc (temporary) remote work arrangements can be made
  • Seasonal modifications to a hybrid schedule can be made 
  • Written explanation must be provided if request is denied
  • Grievances can be filed 

The new language will provide more opportunity for telework than our pre-COVID contract language. It will also provide more accountability than UHR’s temporary COVID-era policies.

Text of the final article will be finalized and shared soon. Congratulations and much thanks and appreciation to the members of the bargaining team and our sibling unions who worked together on this issue.

Categories
URA Contract

Full Tentative Agreement

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Categories
URA Contract

Resolved or TA’d Articles

These are contract articles that have been resolved with a Tentative Agreement (TA) between URA and Rutgers. A new collective agreement will become effective only after a member ratification vote.

Article 2: Acting Appointment

  • Employee input and signature now required on new Acting Appointment form before submission to UHR.

Article 3: Administrative Leave

  • 1/2 day gain in AL for those who change from 10-month to 12-month employees.
  • No loss in AL for those who change from 12-month to 10-month employees during the FY of the change.
  • Cultural holidays added as a reason for AL.

Article 6: Bereavement Leave

  • Bereavement leave can now be used within 120 days instead of 90.
  • Requests for extensions due to a public health emergency that delays memorial observance, or for religious, cultural, or travel reasons shall not be unreasonably denied.

Article 8: Call-Back Pay

  • Overtime-ineligible employees who have left their regularly-assigned University work locations will now be guaranteed a minimum of three hours of compensatory time at that work location instead of one.

Article 16: Holidays and Personal Holidays

  • Juneteenth National Independence Day is now a holiday to be observed annually on the third Friday of June.
  • Election Day has been added as a reason for PH, V, or AL days.
  • Rutgers employees who work in county offices are guaranteed 15 paid holidays.

Article 17: Job Openings

  • A minimum of two URA candidates must be interviewed before others, if they apply within the first 5 business days of the internal posting.
  • All URA candidates who apply within the first 5 business days of the internal posting must be considered before external candidates may be interviewed. 
  • jobs.Rutgers.edu job board now filterable according to URA-AFT positions.

Article 19: Just Cause/Discipline

  • A verbal warning must be specifically stated as a warning at the time it is issued. 
  • Rutgers shall be required to give advance notice of a pre-termination meeting to both an employee and the URA by no later than noon of the preceding business day.

Article 23: Meal Allowance

  • $10 allowance beginning July 1, 2023 after working 12 consecutive hours. 
  • $11 allowance beginning July 1, 2025 after working 12 consecutive hours.

Article 27: Non-Hostile Work Environment

  • The definition of harassment was expanded to include oral, physical or written harassment, which are now explicitly inappropriate and unacceptable. 

Article 28: Overtime/Compensatory Time Benefits

  • Overtime-ineligible employee excessive workload process has an improved appeal process.

Article 29: Parking

  • Employees will now have their pay for parking deducted in 26 equal payments throughout the year, and can cancel their registration at any time in the fiscal year to stop further payments.
  • Employees who do not purchase an annual pass can purchase up to 10 daily permits.
  • Registration will automatically renew.

Article 33: Probationary Employees

  • Class 1 employees who have completed a probationary period prior to entering the URA bargaining unit will not be required to serve another probation.
  • Meeting to discuss any probationary extension must be held within 10 business days.

Article 34: Professional Development

  • Professional Development now explicitly includes university-sponsored professional conferences, workshops, seminars, or conferences, and the ability to request an alternate work schedule has been expanded to include these items.
  • Employees must have advance notification of costs that may be eligible for reimbursement for attending professional development events.
  • Employees will be reimbursed for the costs of certifications and licenses required by the University or state (outside of travel expenses governed by University Policy 40.4.1).

Article 35: Reclassification

  • Clarification regarding the criteria to be used for reclassification reviews.
  • Clarification regarding arbitration remedies allowed for a union grievance.
  • For self-initiated reclassification reviews:
    • Written acknowledgement of receipt by UHR.
    • Denials must include a list of all documents and comparison CARFs considered.
    • Determinations to include new salary, start date, new title, and copy of new CARF.

Article 38 – Environmental Health and Safety Committee

  • Quarterly labor-management conferences between Rutgers Unions and management.
  • See “New: Health and Safety” below.

Article 39 – Salary Adjustments

  • Additional criteria for new salary resulting from promotions.
  • Additional criteria for in-range/grade salary adjustments.
  • See “New: Self-Initiated In-Range/Grade Salary Adjustment Pilot Program” below.

Article 41: Salary Improvements and Appendix G

  • Across-the-board raises to the annual base salary:
    • FY23 – 4% retroactive to July 1,2022, if you were on payroll June 30, 2022 and through the date of payment.
    • FY24 – 3.75% to July 1, 2023, if you were on payroll June 30, 2023 and through the date of payment.  
    • FY25 – 3.5% effective July 1, 2024, if you are on payroll June 30, 2024 and through the date of payment.
    • FY26 – 3.5% of union-wide average paid as a flat dollar raise effective July 1, 2025, if you are on payroll June 30, 2025 and through the date of payment.
  • No salary freeze allowed due to a fiscal emergency declaration for FY23, FY24, and FY25.

Article 58: Accessible Parking

  • Rutgers shall provide additional permanent or temporary parking spaces when there are fewer parking spaces than individuals registered for accessible parking.
  • Rutgers must meet in a Labor-Management Conference within 10 business days if the union requests to meet regarding the number of accessible parking spaces.

Article 60: Temporary and Casual Appointments

  • A pilot program begins January 2024 through June 2026 and builds off of a recent arbitration decision which prevents Class 3 temporary appointments.
  • All temporary positions must now be Class 1 for a maximum one-year appointment.  
  • Temporary positions only allowed for vacancies, leaves of absence, or one-time projects.
  • Temporary positions are eligible for raises according to Article 41.
  • Casual employees continue to have access to grievance procedure to enforce policy.

New – Health and Safety procedures:

  • A procedure for working elsewhere when the indoor environment is unhealthful (including when temperatures are outside of 68-79 degrees).
  • An appeals procedure for unions to challenge Rutgers safety decisions.
  • Access to information and worksites by union experts to investigate safety.

New – Self-Initiated In-Range/Grade Salary Adjustment Pilot Program

  • Program runs July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2026.
  • Eligible to apply at 5+ years in same position and if no adjustment in prior year.
  • Increases of up to 10% based on:
    • relevant years of service or other market-based equity considerations
    • scope, depth, impact, responsibility, or complexity of job functions
  • Program is subject to grievance procedure.

Ongoing Negotiations – Health Insurance and Flex Work will continue to be negotiated at the Coalition of Rutgers Unions negotiations table.

Categories
URA Contract

Tentative Agreements and Improvements

These are proposals that have been resolved with a Tentative Agreement (TA) between URA and Rutgers. Agreement on individual articles is the first step towards reaching a complete agreement which will become binding after a member ratification vote. We’ve made improvements to each of these articles without any givebacks to management.

Article 3: Administrative Leave

  • 1/2 day gain in AL for those who change from 10-month to 12-month employees.
  • No loss in AL for those who change from 12-month to 10-month employees during the FY of the change.
  • Cultural holidays added as a reason for AL.

Article 6: Bereavement Leave

  • Bereavement leave can now be used within 120 days instead of  90.
  • Requests for extensions due to a public health emergency that delays memorial observance, or for religious, cultural, or travel reasons shall not be unreasonably denied.

Article 8: Call-Back Pay

  • Overtime-ineligible employees who have left their regularly-assigned University work locations will now be guaranteed a minimum of three hours of compensatory time at that work location instead of one.

Article 16: Holidays and Personal Holidays

  • Juneteenth National Independence Day is now a holiday to be observed annually on the third Friday of June.
  • Election Day has been added as a reason for PH, V, or AL Day.
  • Rutgers employees who work in county offices are guaranteed 15 paid holidays.

Article 17: Job Openings

  • jobs.Rutgers.edu job board now filterable according to URA-AFT positions.
  • Minimum of two URA-AFT applicants must be interviewed before others.

Article 19: Just Cause – Discipline

  • A verbal warning must be specifically stated as a warning at the time it is issued. 
  • Rutgers shall be required to give advance notice of a pre-termination meeting to both an employee and the URA by no later than noon of the preceding business day.

Article 27: Non-Hostile Work Environment

  • The definition of harassment was expanded to include oral, physical or written harassment, which are now explicitly inappropriate and unacceptable. 

Article 28: Overtime/Compensatory Time Benefits

  • Exempt employee excessive workload process now has an improved appeal procedure.

Article 29: Parking

  • Employees will now have their pay for parking deducted in 26 equal payments throughout the year, and employees can cancel their registration at any time in the fiscal year to stop further payments.
  • Employees who do not purchase an annual pass can purchase up to 10 daily permits.
  • Registration will automatically renew.

Article 33: Probationary Employees

  • Class 1 employees who have completed a probationary period prior to entering the URA bargaining unit will not be required to serve another probation.
  • Meeting to discuss any probationary extension must be held within 10 business days.

Article 34: Professional Development

  • Professional Development now explicitly includes university-sponsored professional conferences, workshops, seminars, or conferences, and the ability to request an alternate work schedule has been expanded to include these items.
  • Employees must have advance notification of costs in attending professional development events.
  • Employees will be reimbursed for the costs of certifications and licenses required by the University or state (outside of travel expenses, which is governed by
    University Policy 40.4.1).

Article 58: Accessible Parking

  • Rutgers shall provide additional permanent or temporary parking spaces when there are fewer parking spaces than individuals registered for accessible parking.
  • Rutgers must meet in a Labor-Management Conference within 10 business days if the union requests to meet regarding the number of accessible parking spaces.
Categories
URA Contract

“I think it just shows that there’s a lack of respect for employees” 

“We are indoors. We are outdoors. We are white collar. We are blue collar,” says Lucye Millerand, executive vice president of the Union of Rutgers Administrators (URA). “We want decent raises you know what inflation is like. We want a salary structure that will reward longevity.”

Rutgers employees consider further job action as contract negotiations continue, Matt Trapani and Chris Keating, News 12 NJ, April 25

Categories
Press Clips URA Contract

‘We know the money is there, we know our demands are reasonable’

Lucye Millerand, executive vice president of URA-AFT Local 1766, said negotiations have not achieved much so far. “The sticking point is the unwillingness to respond to very reasonable demands we have put forth,” Millerand said, adding, “The economic proposals they’ve put forward are insulting. We want some reward for our essential workers who can’t work from home, but yet were here all through the pandemic, keeping the place safe.”

Another Rutgers union says contract negotiations not delivering, Ted Goldberg, NJ Spotlight News, April 25, 2023

Categories
2022 Contract

URA Stands in Unity, Will Initiate Strike Pledge

The Union of Rutgers Administrators (URA-AFT) Local 1766, represents 2,500 administrative staff at Rutgers University, including staff in every academic department, business, admissions and financial aid office, dining hall, and across Rutgers housing. We are integral to student and faculty lives at Rutgers University.  

Our members voted in last night’s membership meeting to launch a strike pledge drive to determine whether our membership is ready to take a strike authorization vote. This strike pledge will soon be initiated, and its results will help determine whether or not URA takes a strike authorization vote.

The URA has been bargaining for the past 10 months, but has not made much progress on many of our key priorities, including fair salary increases, telework, career pathways, and equity for our essential workers. Our members’ commitment towards a strike pledge is representative of our willingness to escalate to win a fair contract.