Category Archives: Benefits

We R Not Disposable — Stories from Dining Workers

In June 2020, Rutgers University targeted employees in Dining Services for layoff, despite multiple negotiations sessions sessions with unions to implement a “win-win” alternative to layoffs that would save the University hundreds of millions of dollars. The University instead chose to save money on the backs of hundreds of its workers who will now go without benefits or medical coverage. Shame on Rutgers and the leadership team of Joe Charette, Sal Mena and Bob Barchi.

Behind the layoffs-videos from Dining workers:

Members: let’s share our resources to thrive!

In these uncertain times, let’s share our resources to thrive!

As we all continue to adapt to the changing times, I hope you and your families are well. Our union has been working hard to advocate for the health and safety for all and want to share some additional resources that will help with some of the changes in our lives.

In these uncertain times, with all the changes at Rutgers, we are adjusting to working from home, trying to keep focus as pandemic news continually updates, keeping ourselves and our families healthy, and the myriad of other things that impact each of us. It is more important than ever to keep communicating and sharing our resources to support each other.

We have created a Google Doc where we can share our best practices and success stories as we all develop different ways to cope to our new reality.   I encourage you all to take a minute and add to the Google Doc and share tips that you have developed to help as many are working from home. I look forward to learning from all of you as you share your experiences and frustrations.   We can learn from each other’s successes and share the knowledge on how we make Rutgers work every day.

URA members Best practices for thriving during COVID-19 pandemic  (link to Google Doc provided to members only).

URA-AFT owns and maintains this Google account and reserves the right to edit any comments that may be offensive, vulgar or abusive or restrict access as necessary.

Please continue to take action.

In addition, I have compiled a brief list of resources that may help with some aspects of your telecommuting life. If you have others, please share on the Google Doc above. Please comment if any of the suggested information is found to be inaccurate or outdated.

Keep yourself healthy

Tips for telecommuting

Childcare for essential workers

Stay active inside

COVID-19 updates

If your family member or friends have lost their jobs

Housing  and other help


Many food stores are delivering to home but appointments are limited

Don’t forget, please share your best practices and success stories with all of us through this Google Doc: URA members Best practices for thriving during COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay safe and well.

In solidarity,
Christine O’Connell, President

Sign and Share: Rutgers workers need affordable health insurance

Bring your team to the table now;  let’s hammer out a deal on employee health insurance  as we agreed we would over eight months ago.  We can save money for Rutgers workers, the University and the State of New Jersey. If your team is still looking for other insurance options, then consider checking out

Twenty-two thousand unionized employees at Rutgers agreed to negotiate over health insurance with Rutgers management “immediately following” the close of negotiations on economics and working conditions issues last summer.  Since mid-2019, Rutgers has refused to come to the table on health insurance.  As of February 2020:

  • Rutgers employees are paying more for the State Health Benefits Plan than our peers who work directly for the State of New Jersey.
  • Thousands of adjunct faculty, who teach most of the classes at all Rutgers campuses and online, are offered no health insurance at all.
  • Medical faculty still have no contract.
  • Neither Rutgers nor its workers are getting the savings that the State of New Jersey negotiated with its workers in 2019.

Our salaries as unionized staff and faculty in public higher education are lower than what  we could earn in the private sector.  We have chosen to work in higher education for the rewards, which include a strong benefit package.  80% of our members  utilize the State Health Benefits plan for ourselves and our families.

We urge Rutgers management to  come to the bargaining table today,  as promised, and negotiate health insurance language for our contracts now– before another fiscal year of savings is lost.

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