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

  • 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.

Staff Compensation Program (SCP)

View SCP 2023 .ppt

The Staff Compensation Program (SCP) is the annual performance evaluation process. The SCP process was formerly known as Pay for Performance (P4P). The names (SCP and P4P) are holdovers from the years when there was a merit-based component for raises. After we analyzed the impact of merit-based raises, we found that managers allocated them inconsistently and inequitably, so we no longer tie compensation to performance. 

By May 15 you should be notified of your performance evaluation rating – either meet standards or does not meet standards, for each key duty and overall. Your signature on the SCP does not necessarily indicate agreement with your evaluation. If you disagree with your supervisor’s evaluation or rating, you can sign “Receipt only” on the employee signature line. You should also write and attach your explanation and comments to document why you disagree. Make sure you request and keep a copy of the final evaluation with all signatures and attachments. 

Note that there is a check box in Section 3 that indicates that performance standards and expectations for next year’s evaluation process are being modified. If the standards and expectations are being changed significantly, ask that your Classification and Recruitment Form (CARF) be updated to reflect the changes. These changes may also be justification for a reclassification (self-initiated or department-initiated), or in-range/grade adjustment. 


“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


‘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


Strike Pledge Q&A

In the Union of Rutgers Administrators membership meeting on Monday, April 10th, members approved a motion to launch a strike pledge.

Why are we taking a strike pledge (and a potential strike authorization vote)?

We are taking a strike pledge drive because our members approved a motion to launch a strike pledge. More than that, though, this strike pledge comes after over ten months of bargaining that has produced little to no movement on our core demands—raises in line with inflation, telework & equity for our essential staff, career pathways, job security, and more. We are taking a strike pledge (and potential strike authorization vote) in order to gauge if we have the power to win the contract that we deserve.

What is a strike pledge? 

A strike pledge is NOT a vote to authorize a strike—that would take place through an official vote of the union membership at a later date. A strike pledge sends a message to the administration that we’re ready to take action to win a fair contract, including a strike if necessary. An important part of a strike pledge is you committing to do outreach to make this happen. This includes making phone calls to members, talking to your colleagues, attending a building or campus meeting, and more.

If enough people pledge to strike, are we then on strike?

No, a strike pledge is NOT a vote to authorize a strike but it signals we will likely head towards one in the near future. A strike authorization vote (SAV) is the formal way to prepare to strike.

How is a pledge different from a strike authorization vote? 

A strike pledge is a step just before a strike authorization vote. A strike pledge is not binding, it gives our union officers, bargaining team, and member organizers an idea of how the membership feels so they can decide if they have the power in numbers to move forward with a strike authorization vote. Additionally, only members can vote in a strike authorization vote; non-members and members alike can participate in the pledge.

How does a strike pledge fit into the process of actually going on strike? 

Step 1: Members indicate their willingness to go on strike and commit to membership outreach. A strike pledge is an important way to tell Rutgers administration that we’re ready to take action and also to determine the power of the membership to move forward in taking a strike authorization vote.

Step 2: If the strike pledge indicates a majority of members (1300) are ready to take action and move towards a strike, a strike authorization vote is presented to URA members. 

Step 3: If a significant majority of members vote yes on a strike authorization vote, this allows for union officers to call for a strike, if the bargaining process is not moving forward.  

If we go on strike, will we face disciplinary action? 

We can expect members to be threatened with, and possibly receive, disciplinary action such as a letter of reprimand. To settle a strike, our bargaining team would demand that discipline for members who strike peacefully be dropped.


Bargaining Update

The URA bargaining team has met with management over forty times, and has tentative agreements on 10 articles, including, most recently, Just Cause and Bereavement Leave. Parking, Non-Hostile Work Environment, and Probationary Employee are some other tentative agreements. We still have not made progress on key priorities, including raises , telework, and recognition for our essential employees, among much else. When presented with thoughtful proposals that would improve our members’ lives and Rutgers, management has often rejected or ignored them.

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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. 

2022 Contract

Recommendations for URA-AFT Members about Potential Rutgers AAUP-AFT Strike

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We are actively bargaining for a fair contract and need the majority of our members to participate in our escalating actions to achieve that ultimate goal. URA members have not authorized a strike action. Therefore, our union has not committed to a sympathy strike if the AAUP decides to take a strike action.

We are supportive of our sibling unions’ actions. This includes walking their picket lines and attending rallies outside of our work hours, including before, after, and during our unpaid lunch time.

For members who work in academic departments, the best way to support the AAUP work stoppage, is working to rule: do not take on any of your AAUP colleagues’ work outside of your regular duties and responsibilities. Their absence must be felt by Rutgers in order for their strike to be effective.

Here are the articles in the URA-Rutgers Agreement that might be used to provide protection for URA members who take individual action to honor picket lines in the event of an AAUP strike.

Article 3 – Administrative Leave

Administrative leave shall be granted by Rutgers University upon request of the employee and shall be scheduled in advance provided the request can be granted without interference with the proper discharge of the work in the work unit involved. Requests for such leave shall not be unreasonably denied. Administrative leave may be used for personal business, including emergencies and religious observances.

Article 22 – Leave of Absence for Personal Reasons

If an employee is confronted with a situation of unusual circumstances, a request for a leave of absence without salary for personal reasons will be considered by the university. The maximum number of days available for such a leave is thirty (30) days in a fiscal year. A request for such a leave must be submitted in writing to the administrative supervisor or department head concerned. Such leave request shall not be unreasonably denied.

There is not a lot of history on this article. It is usually used with substantial advance notice. It is possible that some supervisors will agree to unpaid leave for purposes of not crossing a picket line, and equally likely that others will not, and that unit HR administrators will resist the granting of leave for personal reasons.

Article 44 – Sick Leave

April 3, 2023

Sick leave is defined as a necessary period of absence because of the employee’s own illness or for exposure of the employee to contagious disease.

It is not normally necessary to submit a health care provider’s note unless the department has previously told the employee that there are concerns with misuse of sick time.

Employees who wish to use sick time for a scheduled medical visit, however, may be asked to provide proof of their appointment:

Sick leave may also be used for pre-planned medical and dental appointments provided that the employee submits a request as soon as is practical with the expectation that the employee shall provide at least one week’s notice if possible.

Rutgers may deny sick pay or take disciplinary action if there is evidence that an employee abused sick time, and was not really sick or attending a sick family member.

Employees are expected to notify their supervisor preferably by telephone at least fifteen (15) minutes before their scheduled start time on the work day on which sick leave is used and to keep the supervisor adequately informed should the absence extend beyond one day.

Article 54 – Vacation

This article references University Policy 60.3.10, which states that vacation must be pre- approved by the department, and is subject to the department’s scheduling needs.

Article 59 – Telecommuting

For employees who have remote work agreements under the 2018-2022 contract, not the FlexWork@RU Pilot Program, if the department were to revoke or modify the individual’s telecommuting agreement as a result of a faculty job action, we would have an ability to challenge that action.

Remote work

Since remote work does not involve any work stoppage, departments may be willing to extend or flex WFH schedules for employees who don’t want to “cross a picket line” physically. However, since the current remote work temporary policy is not negotiated, it is hard to predict how it will be used.

Article 19 – Just Cause/Discipline

No employee shall be discharged, suspended, disciplined or receive a deficiency downgrade except for just cause.

Article 14 – Grievance Procedure

If members call out of work for a day or multiple days due to an AAUP strike, we should assume that some or all will receive disciplinary action. We can file grievances against any such action and argue that there is no ‘just cause’. Those will be fact-sensitive cases – is there a prior disciplinary record? Etc. If there is a university or campus-wide directive from management that results in discipline, we would try to consolidate those cases, negotiate withdrawal of the action, or defend the employees in a discipline arbitration.


Whatever members decide about attending work on a day if AAUP strikes, they should be sure to inform the department prior to the start of work. A no-call, no-show is likely to result in discipline immediately, and will be much harder to mitigate, than, say an allegation that a member falsely used a sick day, or called out for an emergency which the department says was not an emergency.

We don’t know if, when, or for how long any strike would be; we can’t predict the severity of management’s reaction to our members staying out. And we don’t know what AAUP will do if Rutgers management obtains an injunction to stop a strike. We certainly do not want our members hauled into court. It seems that would be extreme, but we know that Rutgers management considers themselves untouchable.

2022 Contract

Statement on MPSC Raises

What Do We Want? A Fair Contract.

When do we want it? Now!

URA members,

We know that a fair contract is essential for our membership. As management continues to hold out on salary increases, with disrespectful offers like 2% annual raises as inflation rates remain well above 7%, we recently learned that non-aligned employees, or “MPSC’s” (Managerial, Professional, Supervisory and Confidential) at Rutgers University may be scheduled to receive a 3% raise retroactive to July 1, 2022. This has not been officially confirmed yet.

We know some of the highest-paid employees at our university are included in the category of MPSC, including Deans and Directors. A 3% raise for these managers amounts to much more than it would for our members, who often make below the mid-range of our salary grade. 

We know our members deserve more. A fair raise for all is essential given high levels of inflation, increased housing costs and living expenses in New Jersey, additional out-of-pocket health insurance costs, and the other financial pressures on our members. 

We are holding firm on our demands for more than 3% across-the-board raises. We are fighting for longevity raises for longtime members, meaningful across-the-board raises, and a salary package that provides an increase above the inflation rate so that we can work with dignity. 

Historically, when we fight for better salary improvements all members of the University community, including non-aligned administrators like our immediate supervisors, benefit. Unions make Rutgers better. 

Our power lies in collective action. Join us Tuesday, February 28 at noon for the Board of Governors Rally at Newark or parallel actions at The Yard in New Brunswick or the Camden Campus Center.

In solidarity, 

Your URA Bargaining Team

2022 Contract Uncategorized

Contract Negotiations Membership Escalation Plan 2022-2023

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Our union is negotiating for these critical bargaining demands:

  1. Raises and longevity pay;
  2. Telework with fairness for non-remote staff;
  3. Reduce employee’s portion of health insurance premiums; and,
  4. Well-defined career paths for staff.

Escalating Action

A Union escalation plan guides members in putting pressure on the employer to secure a fair, negotiated contract.

Actions are taken on a schedule that escalates pressure on management in various ways to express that we deserve a fair contract and to show what we are worth.


Our contract campaign is based on the following principles:

  • Majority Membership Decision-making that leads to actions performed by a largerand larger number of members.
  • Concerted Action for Healthy Boundaries: adhering to work-to-rule by doing the jobs we are paid for, and no more:
    o No additional responsibilities without additional compensation; o Arriving on-time, but not early;
    o Taking a full lunch break away from the desk;
    o Leaving on-time, but not late.
  • Workplace Actions: visibility and protest actions that carry our message to management and the public. We will build greater member participation and commitment until we approve a fair contract.
  • Staff-centered Timeline and Tactics which respect our labor coalition partners.

Goals and Principles approved February 13, 2023 General Membership Meeting