Many AFT members, like so many Americans, are struggling to pay back student debt, and helping them manage student loans has become one of the union’s top priorities. For the last several years, the AFT has held student debt clinics across the country to help borrowers who have been the victims of predatory lending practices gain access to debt relief. Recently, we expanded our clinics to focus on helping members manage medical debt. The response from these debt clinics has been overwhelming—we have helped reduce thousands of members’ monthly payments by hundreds of dollars, and have gotten others on track to have tens of thousands forgiven through public service loan forgiveness. Now, we are launching a survey to find out what else we can do to fight back against the predatory lenders and loan servicers that are hurting working people.
Fair Contract Now! Video
Watch URA members and others at Rutgers speak on the importance of Bargaining for a Fair Contract at https://youtu.be/bM4UbmqedfQ.
May Bargaining Update
The URA bargaining team met with Rutgers management for the first three negotiating sessions on April 9, April 24, and May 7. These are some highlights of discussions so far:
URA has put proposals on the table to:
- Provide equal allowance of Administrative Leave (AL) days when a 10-month position is converted to 12 months. (Article 3)
- Extend bereavement leave to members who have cared for non-family members at the end of life by serving as health proxies, executors or making final arrangements. Allow bereavement leave at the time that a funeral is held, especially military funerals where the family cannot choose the date. (Article 6)
- Prevent workplace bullying by clarifying the criteria and procedures for our Non-Hostile Workplace Conference. (Article 27)
URA-AFT General Membership Meeting (New Location)
May 21 @ 5:30 pm — 7:00 pm EDT
Agenda: Second Reading and Vote on the Budget
Open to full dues members only. Membership forms available at the door.
Update on OptumRX and the NJ State Health Benefit Plan
Last week the New Jersey Appellate Court ruled that the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) contract for the New Jersey State Health Benefit Plan will have to be rebid. OptumRX is the current plan manager and will continue to administer the health plan while the state decides whether to appeal the Appellate Court decision.
In the meantime please be aware of your right to appeal any denials from OptumRX.
Rutgers Day — April 28, 2018
Thanks to all the URA members who made Rutgers Day a record-shattering success. And a special shout-out to the volunteers who not only registered voters at our COPE table, but also kept the crowd engaged while providing civic education. Pictures of the URA activities can be found on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ura1766.