Rutgers and President Barchi Puts Staff At Risk
Governor Christie warned New Jerseyans to stay off the roads and closed all state offices; New Jersey Transit, SEPTA, PATCO, Amtrak and the MTA suspended service; Police in many towns turned motorists back from dangerous roadways. And Rutgers? Rutgers told staff (but not faculty or students) that Hurricane Sandy was not enough to close offices and non-essential staff should make their way in to work. URA urges President Barchi to join with the rest of New Jersey, put safety first and declare a Weather Emergency.
Many at Rutgers suspect that management refuses to declare a weather emergency in order to save the time-and-a-half pay that would be owed to essential services workers. We have to ask : how much is our safety worth?
We have dealt with this before with the old administration; apparently, lack of concern for our safety remains the same with the new leadership at Rutgers. Show your anger, disbelief, and disappointment with the new administration’s total disregard for the safety of Rutgers employees by calling President Barchi at 848–932-7454 and emailing him at this link. Tell him to declare a “UNIVERSITY CLOSING” for Monday 10/29 and Tuesday 10/30. Also email and call your department heads, deans and directors with the same message. In fact, let the mayors of Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick, Governor Christie, and your elected officials know how little Rutgers administration cares about its employee’s safety. The current weather conditions are way beyond what constitutes a “Weather Alert” and should, for all intent and purposes be changed to University Policy section 60.3.16, section B. University Closing, which states:
B. “Weather Emergency” — Campus(es) Closed. A “Weather Emergency” is defined as a period of hazardous weather conditions (blizzard, hurricane, tornado, flood, etc.) during which travel is recognized as an imminent danger to life and property in the area of the University or any of its campuses. A “Weather Emergency” may be declared and a major campus (New Brunswick, Newark or Camden) consequently closed only by the designated authority: in New Brunswick, by the President; in Newark and Camden, by their respective Chancellors who shall notify the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration of the starting and ending times of the closing. More of this policy can be found here.
Below are your contractual rights during a University Closing:
ARTICLE 48 — UNIVERSITY CLOSINGS
A. For a day or days when the University is officially declared as “Closed” by the President or appropriate Vice-President, employees shall not be required to charge vacation days, administrative leave, or personal holidays to avoid loss of pay. More of Article 48 can be found here.
Ripped From Today’s Headlines — Hurricane Sandy
The Courier Post (Cherry Hill) – Sandy expected to hit South Jesey hard
The Home News and Tribune (Central New Jersey) – New Brunswick evacuates residents between Albany Street and Commercial Avenue
The Newark Star Ledger – Hurricane Sandy ready to lash N.J. with unprecedented fury
Is It Safe To Go To Work
(Though originally posted in URA News on 8/31/2011, this article is still timely in light of our current weather situation. Article 48 of our contract “University Closings” can be found at here.)
(photo of Rt. 18, New Brunswick, from The Home News & Tribune at http://cmsimg.mycentraljersey.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=CN&Date=20110829&Category=MULTIMEDIA02&ArtNo=308290027&Ref=PH&Item=1&Maxw=620&Maxh=465&q=60)
Yet again, Rutgers has put the safety of the staff at the bottom of the list. In light of the hurricane this past weekend Rutgers made the decision (and rightly so) to safeguard the students by delaying move-in day, but non-essential staff still had to come into work on Monday. We have questioned the prudence of the University’s “Weather Alert-University Open” policy before (URA 1/31/2011 article) and suffice to say, they just don’t get it.
Is this the right way to show you care about your workers? Unfortunately Rutgers is not alone this time; though under a state-of-emergency State employees were also instructed to go to work, while staying off the roads at the same time (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/08/top_union_official_blasts_gov.html and http://www.bluejersey.com/diary/19318/chris-christie-risks-lives-for-politics).
If your building was closed you should not be charged for the day; if you were or had similar weather-related issues because you had to come into work please contact your union steward (http://www.ura-aft.org/ura-stewards).
Elections Matter — 2012 Upcoming Action Alerts III
The Committee on Political Education (COPE) invites you to attend these upcoming Fall events. We look forward to your participation and support.
Deadlines to Apply for Vote by Mail Approaching:
(courtesy of the League of Woman Voters of New Jersey)
- Vote By Mail — In New Jersey, any voter can vote by mail using a “Vote by Mail” ballot (formerly absentee ballot). However, you must apply. Vote by Mail Applications
- Apply by mail: If you choose to send your vote by mail application by mail, it must be received by your County Clerk no later than Tuesday, October 30.
- Apply in person: There is a 3 p.m. deadline on November 5 to apply for a “Vote by Mail’ ballot in person at your County Clerk’s office.
If you have any questions visit www.lwvnj.org or call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey’s toll-free voter assistance hotline, 1–800-792-VOTE(8683).
Join us for Popcorn and Koch:
Koch Brothers Exposed — 2 movie screenings — Free — http://www.kochbrothersexposed.com
11/1/2012 at the Graduate Student Lounge, Rutgers Student Center, 126 College Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Continue reading URA News: URA Demands University Closing Status During Hurricane Sandy