Vacation Policy Transition—Make It Work For You
In 2010, University HR proposed changes to the vacation policy for staff. URA called for negotiations to protect our unit members and negotiated a letter of agreement which applies specifically to URA members. Both documents can be viewed on the URA website http://www.ura-aft.org/node/500. The URA negotiating team found most members who had accrued high amounts of vacation accrual did so because their requests to use vacation time had been denied. The new vacation policy which we negotiated states for the first time states that “Requests for vacations shall not be unreasonably denied.”
Now, as we approach the end of fiscal year 2011–2012 and face the summer vacation season, URA members should consider how to use this policy to their best advantage. Keep in mind that by July 1, 2013 it will be almost impossible to “roll over” more than one year’s vacation allowance.
Reflections of the AFTNJ Convention
URA activists had the opportunity to attend the AFTNJ Convention in Galloway, NJ the weekend of April 20 and 21. Besides attending workshops and serving as URA delegates to AFTNJ, the state federation of AFT, members were able to network with other AFT colleagues. Participants had this to say about their experience…
Off Campus Meets at Convention
Christine O’Connell, chair of our Off Campus Concerns committee, took the AFTNJ convention experience to another level by inviting some off campus members to participate at the April 20th event. She noted that
The highlight of the weekend for me was after dinner when I discovered that several off campus members of the URA had joined us. It was fabulous having an impromptu off campus meeting to discuss issues that pertain to our department only.
(Pictured l to r: Shari Harding, Peter Fazzino, Christine O’Connell & Louella Heaton)
Health and Safety Committee Wins Award
During the weekend of April 20–22, 2012 the URA-AFT’s Health and Safety Committee received the Annual Workers’ Memorial Award. This was presented at the AFT’s 35th Annual Paraprofessional and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Conference held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. This award is presented to selected locals for doing good work around health and safety issues.
Amy Bahruth, Assistant Director of AFT’s Health and Safety Program and Rutgers AFT-AAUP member, accepted the award on behalf of the URA at the PSRP Workers’ Memorial Day Luncheon. Reporting back from the conference Amy noted that the award was presented to the URA’s Health and Safety committee because it has developed an active and rigorous health and safety agenda for its members on all three Rutgers University campuses, in addition to off campus locations.