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 Although Step 1 is informal, unwritten and non-precedential, URA stewards know it can be the most productive way to sit down with management and really problem-solve.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?