All posts by grusciano

COVID UPDATES — Week of January 11

COVID Testing Expansion

After much persuasion from unions, primarily URA, Rutgers has expanded the protocols of testing for COVID-19 to include people who are reporting to work in person. In order to be eligible, you must be regularly scheduled on campus at least once a week for operational needs.

You must receive an email and fill out the form (long form first time and short form subsequently) on their platform to make an appointment to be tested. You can also choose to be tested independently using a PCR test and upload your negative results to the platform.

Please notify us if you haven’t received an email for testing but are expected to report to work regularly at

Using PTO time for COVID-19 Reasons

The change in Rutgers policy to use your Paid Time Off (PTO) time for COVID-19 reasons has begun. We are still advocating for management to reconsider implementing the COVID Paid Leave program from last March.

If your supervisor is not approving your use of PTO time for any COVID related reason, quarantining, care for a COVID positive person, or remote learning for your school aged child, please reach out to us immediately so we can help.

We will advocate for you and help resolve the issue. Use of PTO time can be used in conjunction with your telecommuting agreement.

Sign the petition for libraries staff safety and equity

Click here to sign:

URA members in the Libraries at Newark and Camden call for safe working conditions, expanded telecommuting. Please sign and share our online petition. Libraries staff in New Brunswick / Piscataway have a safer work schedule. Why not Newark or Camden?
Our Demand: Immediately close the premises of Rutgers’ Newark and Camden libraries except for essential cleaning and maintenance until at least the beginning of the Spring 2021 semester. Implement staffing by teams alternating in-person and remote work through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency

With Newark once again at the center of the COVID-19 pandemic, yet staff (but not faculty or students) at Dana Library were required to defy the municipal stay-at-home declaration by Mayor Baraka, and report daily to an almost empty campus.

Rutgers- Camden, too, has most classes virtual and low campus occupancy . Camden, too, is experiencing a surge in COVID cases, yet staff (not faculty, not students) are required to report to Robeson Library every day.

The safety of Library staff members matters as much as the library faculty. Library faculty assigned to the Newark or and Camden campuses work 100% remotely.

Library staff have never been classified as “essential” workers.
If we are “One Rutgers”, let’s treat our staff like that is true. Let’s protect them from unnecessary exposure in their daily commute and on the job.

Tell Gov. Murphy: “Veto the Horizon Bill”

Horizon bill passes Senate and Assembly; Call Gov. Murphy to Veto Now

Despite our collective efforts, the Horizon bill passed both the Senate and Assembly on Thursday and is now headed to the Governor’s office for a signature. Although amendments were made to improve the bill, many of our concerns have still not been addressed. 

We are calling on the Governor to conditionally veto this bill until important changes are made to fully protect Horizon’s public assets, increase the role of the Attorney General, and ensure the funds going to the state from Horizon’s reserves are dedicated to healthcare in NJ.
Call Governor Murphy to demand that he conditionally veto the Horizon bill. (609) 292‑6000

What to say: 

Hi, my name is ___ and I’m a constituent from (your town/city). I am calling on Governor Murphy to issue a conditional veto for A5119/S3218, which allows Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield to reorganize.
Horizon should not be allowed to use public assets to fund a for-profit expansion and avoid a charitable trust payment. Horizon’s $7 billion in public assets should be protected and dedicated to benefit community health. 

The conditional veto must fully protect Horizon’s public assets and ensure the funds going to the state from Horizon’s reserves are dedicated to the healthcare of New Jersey. 

Thank you for taking my call.”