Category Archives: Health & Safety

Not the Same Sort of Response” Douglass Steward Thanks URA Health & Safety Committee

On Monday (8/20), I slipped in my office compliments of a recently washed carpet. I fell to my hands and knees twisting my back. Within the hour, I put in a job injury report to RU and figured I’d wait to see how I felt before I went to Hurtado.  Within 2 hours of my report going in, Hurtado called me and asked if I was ok and if I wanted to be seen. At the time, I declined because I thought I felt sore but fine otherwise. Joanne at Hurtado said to call back if I needed anything.

When I arrived at the office the next morning, relatively unscathed but sore, I was greeted by REHS who thoroughly investigated the accident and also encouraged me to go to Hurtado. REHS found that the custodial staff had improperly operated the carpet cleaner and because my floor was saturated, I slipped when going form the carpet surface to the tile surface in our office suite. REHS instructed the custodial staff, who were still here cleaning other offices in our suite, on measures to be taken to avoid such accidents moving forward (i.e., placing wet floor signs, properly using the machinery and trying to coordinate a better time to conduct carpet cleanings for academic offices). Not only that, REHS had a custodial supervisor come over on the spot and work with the custodians on the next couple of rooms to ensure the work was done properly with minimal water left behind.

In the end, I did go to Hurtado. Just a strain says the physician assistant who encouraged me to come back if I feel something has changed.  As of today, I feel ok just sore and slow.

I point this all out to you because I have fallen on the job before and did not have the same sort of response.  On December 17, 2007, I slipped on the stairs in RAB.  At that time I did also immediately put in a job injury report to RU. However, I never received a call from Hurtado, REHS never inquired with me and no preventive measures were put into place to fix the problem.  (The problem has since been remedied but I doubt because I fell).

I probably would not have gone to Hurtado with this accident if Hurtado and REHS hadn’t been so insistent.  I am now glad I did go because after two days I felt worse than I did on Monday and I can see just how negatively impactful a simple slip could be.

Thank you and your committee so much for all your hard work.

Ginny Caputo

Steward/Executive Board Member

Douglass Campus

Health and Safety Committee Wins Award

Health and Safety Committee Wins Award

{Workers Memorial Award picture}During the weekend of April 20–22, 2012 the URA-AFT’s Health and Safety Committee received the Annual Workers’ Memorial Award. This was presented at the AFT’s 35th Annual Paraprofessional and School‐Related Personnel (PSRP) Conference held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. This award is presented to selected locals for doing good work around health and safety issues.

Amy Bahruth, Assistant Director of AFT’s Health and Safety Program and Rutgers AFTAAUP member, accepted the award on behalf of the URA at the PSRP Workers’ Memorial Day Luncheon. Reporting back from the conference Amy noted that the award was presented to the URA’s Health and Safety committee because it has developed an active and rigorous health and safety agenda for its members on all three Rutgers University campuses, in addition to off campus locations. Continue reading Health and Safety Committee Wins Award

URAAFT Newsletter — Week of 4‐30‐2012

Vacation Policy Transition—Make It Work For You

{Vacation Picture}In 2010, University HR proposed changes to the vacation policy for staff.  URA called for negotiations to protect our unit members and negotiated a letter of agreement which applies specifically to URA members.  Both documents can be viewed on the URA website http://www.ura-aft.org/node/500.   The URA negotiating team found most members who had accrued high amounts of vacation accrual did so because their requests to use vacation time had been denied.  The new vacation policy which we negotiated states for the first time states that “Requests for vacations shall not be unreasonably denied.

Now, as we approach the end of fiscal year 2011–2012 and face the summer vacation season, URA members should consider how to use this policy to their best advantage. Keep in mind that by July 1, 2013 it will be almost impossible to “roll over” more than one year’s vacation allowance.

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Reflections of the AFTNJ Convention

URA activists had the opportunity to attend the AFTNJ Convention in Galloway, NJ the weekend of April 20 and 21.  Besides attending workshops and serving as URA delegates to AFTNJ, the state federation of AFT, members were able to network with other AFT colleagues. Participants had this to say about their experience…

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Off Campus Meets at Convention

{Off Campus Mbrs Picture - l to r: Shari Harding, Peter Fazzino, Christine O'Connell & Louella Heaton}Christine O’Connell, chair of our Off Campus Concerns committee, took the AFTNJ convention experience to another level by inviting some off campus members to participate at the April 20th event.  She noted that  The highlight of the weekend for me was after  dinner when I discovered that several off campus members of the URA had joined us.  It was fabulous having an impromptu off campus meeting to discuss issues that pertain to our department only.

(Pictured l to r: Shari Harding, Peter Fazzino, Christine O’Connell & Louella Heaton)

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Health and Safety Committee Wins Award

{Workers Memorial Award picture}During the weekend of April 20–22, 2012 the URA-AFT’s Health and Safety Committee received the Annual Workers’ Memorial Award.  This was presented at the AFT’s 35th Annual Paraprofessional and School‐Related Personnel (PSRP) Conference held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC.   This award is presented to selected locals for doing good work around health and safety issues.

Amy Bahruth, Assistant Director of AFT’s Health and Safety Program and Rutgers AFTAAUP member, accepted the award on behalf of the URA at the PSRP Workers’ Memorial Day Luncheon.  Reporting back from the conference Amy noted that the award was presented to the URA’s Health and Safety committee because it has developed an active and rigorous health and safety agenda for its members on all three Rutgers University campuses, in addition to off campus locations.

Read more »