Category Archives: Labor

NJ’s public workers rally in Trenton to protest historic health insurance increase

Katie Sobko of Gannett’s Trenton Bureau covered the Sept. 13 rally calling for fairness in health care costs. 

Christine O’Connell, president of the Union of Rutgers Administrators-American Federation of Teachers, said the health care increase would effectively translate to a pay cut, “so if they want to charge more, they need to pay us more.”

The Coalition of Rutgers Unions includes more than 11,000 members and has been negotiating a contract with the university. O’Connell noted that the school gets “tons of state and federal money.”

They just want to pass on costs to the workers that make the university work, from the dining services and student counselors to residence life,” O’Connell said.

Then, referring to a recent NorthJersey.com investigation into lavish spending on food delivery by Rutgers football, she added: “We don’t have access to free DoorDash or any of those perks.”

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2021 Election Season: Endorsed candidates, voter & volunteer info.

Issues Matter.  Vote Union.

Vote “For a Better Life, for Equity and Civil Rights, for Freedom and for a Voice at Work and in our Democracy”


Election Day is November 2, 2021.

Voting by mail begins 9/18/21 in NJ.

Vote by mail can use county election drop boxes at these locations -https://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/vote-secure-drop-boxes.shtml

Early voting begins 10/23–31 in all counties at these locations — https://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/vote-early-voting.shtml

Am I registered to vote? — https://voter.svrs.nj.gov/registration-check

NJ Voter Info Portal https://www.state.nj.us/state/elections/vote.shtml


URA-AFT #1766 Endorsed State and Local Candidates — click here

Update: In addition to the full list of endorsements already announced, URA-AFT, by vote of its Executive Board on October, 4, 2021, endorsed Dennis Klein as a candidate for the Teaneck Board of Education and Alexis Jackson as legislative candidate for State Assembly, Legislative District 9.


Get involved in Election 2021 by participating in contactless Labor Walks and Virtual Phone Banks from home. 
A $50 stipend for each Labor Walk and $25 stipend for each Phone Bank is available.  Complete the Stipend Request Form — click here and email to kay.schechter@gmail.com.

Saturday Contactless Labor Walks are  9 am — Noon  and continue every Saturday through Election Day.

Here is the Labor Walk meeting site closest to New Brunswick, but you can go to any Labor Walk near your home.  Go to https://njaflcio.org/cope/labor-walks/ for the listing of all Labor Walks and Virtual Phone Banks.

Middlesex/Somerset CLC
IBEW 456
1295 Livingston Ave., North Brunswick
Wayne Martiak (908) 415‑8594 

Central Labor Council (CLC) phone banks are scheduled between 6 pm and 8 pm Monday through Thursday through Election Day on the dates listed on https://njaflcio.org/cope/labor-walks/.  Contact the CLC Presidents to volunteer.

Monday nights are the Middlesex/Somerset CLC Phone Bank day.  Contact Wayne Martiak at 908–415-8594 to sign up for Mondays.

9/28/21 at 5 pm — Pre-Debate Labor Rally for Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday,9/28/21 at 5 pm at NJPAC, 1 Center Street, Newark  https://njaflcio.org/solidarity-alert-pre-debate-rally/.

Flexible Scheduling and COVID-19 Paid Leave

The protections of Families First Coronavirus Response Act, including Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act ( EPSLA) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA), are ending 12/31/20 with no bills in the pipeline to get an extension passed by Congress or signed by the president before expiration.

We are negotiating for a program for those who need more flexibility in the work schedules in order to care for others while working from home. For example, if you have a school age child, you may want to work from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m. to 1:00. p.m., and 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to be able to monitor and assist with your child’s remote instruction and still work a full 7.5 hour day.

This type of flexibility should be accommodated when possible since many of us have multiple responsibilities. My understanding is that many of us are working more hours because the boundaries are blurred, so it is still important to keep a record.

Since federal protections will expire, we will ask that the COVID Paid Leave program administered by Rutgers be resurrected. If you must quarantine for COVID exposure or must care for yourself or family members because of COVID, there should be no obligation for you to exhaust your paid time off. We will have this discussion with Rutgers leaders and will let you know if we make progress.