Category Archives: 2018 Contract

Millions in raises and retro pay

URA-AFT members have received millions of dollars in raises and retroactive pay as our new union contract was implemented over the month of July.

A 3% across-the-board raise was provided to all who were bargaining unit members on June 13.  Retroactive pay going back as far as July 1, 2018 was paid in the July 12th to all 12- month employees.  Those in 10-month jobs will receive their retroactive pay when they return to work in September.

As of late July, URA reps have learned of one union member who did not receive retro pay for no observable reason.  That case was resolved at the first step of the grievance procedure.  A more complicated situation for certain members who have been on medical leave is being addressed through the grievance procedure.

The second raise, an additional 3% across-the-board was paid in the July 26 paycheck.  Again, only a handful of members have reported miscalculations of their raises. URA reps are working with members who experience problems in the July 26 paycheck.

Our contract for FY 19 and 20 really maximizes the amount that goes into our overall pay”, stated URA President, Christine O’Connell.” Because the top of each grade increases, we no longer see members who receive bonuses instead of raises to base salary.  And because the eligibility for the raises falls so close to the date of the payment, we don’t see the problem of new members having to wait over a year for their first raise.  That was a problem before the URA was organized, and it can be a problem for people who start work in a year with a merit raise.  We still hear about this happening to the MPSC employees who don’t have a union contract.”

URA will join other Rutgers unions back at the bargaining table later this summer to provide even greater take-home pay through negotiations on the cost of health insurance.

Tentative Agreement – Additional FAQ

Our union came to a tentative agreement with Rutgers management on May 29, 2019.  Since then we held a series of informational meetings on every campus.  Here are some of the most common questions and answers discussed at the meetings.

How will I receive my raises?
Our new Agreement provides for a raise of 3% to the base salary of everyone in the URA bargaining unit on the date we vote to ratify.  (Planned for Thursday, 6/13).  This is the raise for Year 1 of the Contract, FY 18–19.  Another raise of 3% of the new base salary will come on July 1, 2019.  That is our raise for Year 2 of the contract, FY 19–20. In effect, our salaries will increase a bit more than 6% from what we are currently earning.

Will we get “retro” pay for the time since the last contract expired?
If you have been working in a URA bargaining unit job since July 1, 2018, your 3% raise will be paid retroactively to that date.  If you came into the URA bargaining unit since that date, your retroactive raise will go back to the date you started in that job. Retroactive pay will come in a single paycheck, in a single lump.  You must remain on payroll, in a URA job, until the date of the retroactive payment, in order to receive the payment

Example Calculation–full year:

Original salary on
July 1, 2018
New salary effective
July 1, 2018

(Retro pay amount)

New Salary effective
July 1, 2019
New Salary effective
July 1, 2020
New Salary
July 1, 2021
$50,000 $50,000 + 3%


$1,500 $51,500 + 3%


$53,045 + 3%


$54,636 + 2.5%
Total % - 3% - 6.09% 9.27% 12%


Prorated Example–calculation for hire date after July 1, 2018:

Original salary on Sept. 1, 2018 New salary effective
Sept. 1, 2018
Difference Number of work days in the fiscal year Amount of raise per day Prorated # of work days Prorated retro pay amount
$50,000 $50,000 + 3%


$1,500 260 $1,500 / 260


215 $5.7692 x 215


What’s new with in-grade adjustments and job reclassifications?
We revised the criteria for what qualifies for an in-grade adjustment (Article 39-Salary Adjustments).  We also updated some of the procedures surrounding the reclassification process (Article 35-Reclassification).  We will continue to hold member-only workshops about how to best prepare for and utilize these options.

What has changed about FMLA and NJFLA use?
FMLA and NJFLA are entitlement programs that protect your job while you are away.  Our new contract has not modified these entitlements, but we did negotiate terms that will now apply if/when you choose to initiate these programs:

  1. Under our previous contract, we could use 15 days of our own accrued sick leave to provide care for our family members. We can now also use up to 60 sick days for family care AND child bonding during an FMLA or NJFLA leave of absence.
  2. When you wish to utilize FMLA or NJFLA, your sick days will automatically be used simultaneously with each day of your FMLA or NJFLA leave.
  3. We are NOT required to initiate FMLA or NJFLA protection to use our accrued sick time for our own medical condition, or for the first 15 days of caring for family.

What is new about telecommuting?
We previously had no written procedures in our contract for telecommuting. As a result, there were inconsistencies across the university about who could telecommute and how it was administered and approved.  Some managers made unofficial arrangements, and some said they could not grant telecommuting until the union contract allowed it.  Our new Agreement essentially provides the same policy for URA members who wish to telecommute as for non-union staff.  Like the University policy, the new contract article will apply only to FLSA “Exempt” titles.