Category Archives: Benefits

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)
  • Solidify the union’s right to challenge decisions by Rutgers over which positions can be classified as overtime exempt.
  • Allow new employees’ probationary period to be extended only once, with notification to the union. (Article 33)
  • Provide a firm timeline for supervisors to approve or modify the job description of employees who use the self-initiated reclassification process. (Article 35)
  • Increase the vision care reimbursement to $150. This part of our health benefits package is entirely funded by Rutgers and is separate from the State Health Benefits Plan. (Article 55)

Management has proposed to:

  • Extend the probationary period for new employees to 1 year.
  • Eliminate the Non-Hostile Workplace article of the contract.
  • Eliminate the current Steps 1 and 2 of the grievance procedure, preventing union stewards from resolving issues at the department level.

These proposals would take away important protections we have won at the bargaining table over the last 10 years. We can’t make progress toward a better contract unless all our members get involved.

Here’s what you can do in May:

  • Wear your union button at work. Post union posters on your door or workplace bulletin board. – it’s your protected right.
  • Follow URA’s Facebook page (URA1766) and share union messages on your own social media.
  • Attend the next URA General Membership meeting :

 5:30 pm -Monday, May 21 in Room 101, Hickman Hall, Douglass Campus.

Bargaining 101 and Protecting Your Union

Join your colleagues and sign the petition for a new contract!

The URA-AFT is joining with Rutgers’ other unions to demand negotiations for 20,000 Rutgers employees whose union contracts expire on June 30, 2018. Please join in and sign to call for contract talks now to ensure health care, job security, tuition costs and benefits, pay equity, and the right to representation for all employees.

Read more here

Recruitment for Feb. 24 Bargaining Training Workshop

Members who want to join the Contract campaign team are invited to take part in our Bargaining Training Workshop. Click here for time and location.  This training will be a prerequisite for the contract bargaining table team.

Topics include:

  • Surveying the Bargaining Landscape: Power Analysis and Mobilizing in 2018
  • Bargaining for the Common Good
  • From Issues to Bargaining Proposals
  • Who is at the Table? What do they do? What else do we do away from the table?
  • Ratifying the Agreement

Read more here

URA General Membership Meeting

February 19 @ 5:30 pm — 7:00 pm EST

Live from Cook Campus in Room 133, Labor Education Center and video-conferencing with Dana Room, 4th fl., Dana Library, Newark Campus

Special Topics:

  • Bargaining Update
  • Nomination for 2018 AFT Convention, July 13–16, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA
  • WILD Conference, March 2–3, 2018, East Brunswick, NJ

Upcoming Events

URA-AFT General Membership Meeting

February 19 @ 5:30 pm — 7:00 pm EST

Live from Cook Campus in Room 133, Labor Education Center and video-conferencing with Dana Room, 4th fl., Dana Library, Newark Campus


Bargaining Training Workshop

February 24 @ 9:30 am — 2:30 pm EST

Eagleton Institute of Politics/Wood Lawn, Douglass Campus

Call for Nomination of Delegates for 2018 AFT Convention

URA’s full-dues members are able to take part in the democratic process at every level of the labor movement by running for office as delegates. Nominations for delegates to the AFT National Convention will take place at the February 19 General Membership meeting. All URA delegates are expected to attend all business sessions of the convention and appropriate educational workshops held in conjunction with the event. Travel, accommodations (dual occupancy), and IRS per diem expenses are provided from the URA budget.

Read more here

What Members Need To Know About Janus v. AFSCME

On February 26, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments in Janus v. AFSCME. The plaintiff is asking Court to rule that while his union must negotiate for his pay and benefits, and represent him if his rights are violated, he should not be obliged to pay fair-share or “agency fee” . For over 40 years, individual states have been able to pass laws which permit public workers to opt in or out of union membership, but require them to share in the union’s expenses.   This challenge could end agency fees in all states, and would essentially make the USA a “right-to-work (for less)” nation for all of the public sector. The current Supreme Court is almost certain to side against unions and the decision could come as early as April.

Join your union now at for a strong contract and a fair workplace.

Read more here

In Memoriam: Meda Barker

URA-AFT joins the Barker and Greathouse families and the Rutgers community in mourning the loss of Meda Barker. Meda was an active member who signed up last year as a steward on the Newark campus. She will be missed by all who knew her. URA has made a contribution to Equality Utah in her memory.

Read more here