Category Archives: 2018 Contract

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.

Tentative Agreement FAQs

When do we get our raises?  Is there retro pay?
Payroll will implement raises after ratification.  All raises for this contract will be implemented on July 1 of each fiscal year. Year 1 (FY18-19) retroactive pay has to be calculated for each individual, so Payroll will need additional time.  The raise for Year 2 will be effective on July 1, 2019.

Did we lose anything? 
Last year the United States Supreme Court ended agency fees which allowed unions to charge non-members for the cost of representation at the bargaining table and in grievances. This contract reflects that reality—all the more reason to join the union for stronger protections.

URA agreed to changes in administration of leave under FMLA and NJFLA laws, which will now run concurrently with sick time – if the employee invokes that protection.  In exchange, we gained the right to use 60 days of our own accrued sick time for care of our family members.  URA also protected the right to use sick time to extend a leave of absence without discipline, and the confidentiality of medical information.  Our protections are now the strongest at Rutgers.  Finally, we ensured that related University policies and state-level programs like TDI, FLI & NJ SAFE can continue to be used at your own discretion.

Can we see the whole contract?
The new articles will be published on the URA website and announced via email as soon as possible.  The 2014–2018 contract is already on the website.  After the agreement is ratified, we will proofread it with management, and formally sign the agreement.  Union members will get printed copies of the contract in the fall.

Who can vote on the contract?
Anyone who is a union member on the day of ratification can vote.  Anyone who applies for membership on the day of ratification gets a provisional vote. Members who previously revoked their membership cannot vote or attend membership-only meetings unless they sign a membership application to re-join the union.

You do NOT need a union membership card or other identification to vote.

2018–2022 Agreement Highlights

Salary Improvements– Across-the-board raises for four years: 3%, 3%, 3%, & 2.5%. The raise for Year 1 (FY 2018–19) will be retroactive to July 1, 2018 and paid after ratification.  SCP performance appraisals will continue each year but will not be tied to your raises.  The minimum and maximum of each salary grade will increase by the same percentages in every year.

You are eligible to receive the raises if you are on active payroll status on the date of ratification (year 1) and on June 30 of each subsequent year (years 2, 3 & 4).

Salary Adjustments for Pay Inequities – One-time in-grade salary adjustments may now be made for “internal and external” pay disparities.

Health Insurance- URA will join a multi-union negotiation with Rutgers and the State of NJ to negotiate health insurance plans that give high quality at lower cost.

Job Security -Limits to management’s ability to post “temp” jobs to do URA-AFT work.

Sick Leave- Up to 60 of employee’s own sick days can be used per year for care of seriously ill family member.  We also improved the rules related to using your accrued sick time after returning from a layoff.

Bereavement- Extends bereavement leave to cover funeral/interment/memorial services within 90 days—now the strongest language throughout the University.

Telecommuting- Current telecommuting policy is extended to exempt URA employees.

Union’s rights- Additional data provided to union for contract enforcement, “grows” bargaining unit with new Class 3 (temporary) and Class 4 (casual) titles, improves union rep. access to members at worksites.

Other– We also negotiated changes on contract articles related to: administrative leave, alternate work schedules for taking courses, auto liability, Dining Services employees, direct deposit, grievance procedure, job openings, just cause/discipline, military leave, non-discrimination, non-hostile work environment, probationary employees, reclassification, health and safety, and handicap parking.