Next URA Raise Comes in October



Schedule of Payments under URA Agreement/Settlement:

 √ February, 2012 $1000 Lump Sum.  Eligible: all members on payroll Jan 23, 2012
March, 2012 2.25% Across-the-Board, retroactive to April, 2011
March, 2012 2.25% Across-the-Board, retroactive to February, 2012
October, 2012 2.25% Merit Pool: Eligible:  on payroll January, 2012- October, 2012.  “Meets Standards” received on SCP evaluation
December, 2012 $750 Lump Sum
July, 2013 2.25% Merit Pool
July, 2014 $500 Lump Sum


Q&A on Merit Pay:

Who is eligible for merit pay in October?  On payroll January 1, 2012 and still on payroll October 1. URA has filed a grievance which will be heard by an arbitrator, about this definition.  It is the union’s position that members are on payroll when they are on medical leave or other leave, with the intention to return to work.

Everyone who received a “Meets Standards” rating on their April SCP evaluation must receive merit pay.  Those received a “Does not meet standards” rating will not receive merit pay.

How is money divided?  The Agreement does not specify how the different units (schools, departments, divisions, etc.) divide the funds within that unit.  Some Deans and Directors work closely with the first-level supervisors, some make all the decisions themselves, and others tend to reward the staff whom they work with most closely.  This is an old problem with Rutgers’ approach to merit pay for staff:   instead of being based on what your boss thinks of your work, merit pay is based on what your boss’s boss thinks of him or her.  What has changed with a union contract is that supervisors can no longer belittle the performance of their employees to leave a bigger merit pool for themselves.  The full 2.25% must go entirely to our membership.  Non-union employees have a separate, 2.05% pool for their merit payments; these two cannot be mixed.

Is there such a thing as a merit bonus?  The only members who can receive a bonus from the 2.25% increase are those who are at the top of their salary grade.  Our two across-the-board increases earlier this year raised the top of the salary grades by 4.5%.  But if you were already at the very top of the grade your increase brought you to the new maximum.  In that case, you will receive your merit pay as a one-time bonus.  The amount can be from 2-% 4% of your salary.

I didn’t get my performance evaluation last spring.  What should I do?  I got part of my evaluation (for instance, I did my self-evaluation, or I had a meeting with my supervisor), but I did not receive and sign the final evaluation.

Notify your supervisor if you did not receive and sign a performance evaluation.  Being asked to sign a blank form does not count!  Ask your supervisor what increase you are going to receive.  If it is less than 2.25%, you should contact your union representative immediately.

How will we know that the money really goes to URA members?  The URA receives payroll data from management the month after each pay date. A full analysis of the disbursement of merit pay will be conducted later in the year, to locate any areas of concern on a macro-level.  The last time merit pay was paid out, in 2008, we reviewed that information to verify that the entire amount was, in fact disbursed as required.

In March of this year, several underpayment  problems  were found by URA members  and corrected .  For example:  $13,000 was paid to part-time employees who did not receive their full bonuses; raises were paid that were recovered for members who were on medical leave at the time the payments were issued.  URA stewards will assist those who have individual problems when the payments are made.