Category Archives: Legislation

Oppose Austerity Budgets!

From the Better Choices Budget Coalition:

Legislators have massively let down working families across the state. They voted to continue Chris Christie austerity’s gimmicks and balance a budget on the backs of working families.

One can only wonder why Democrats would opt to protect millionaires while cutting an additional $75M from public transportation, $95M cut from Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, or even eliminating the long overdue increases in gun licensing fees. One thing is for certain, regardless of whether it was driven by malicious desire or misinformation, the reality is that they failed us!

Make no mistake, this is NOT a balanced, fair, and sustainable budget. Email your legislators to take action today!

What the Janus Decision Means To The URA

janussignsThe U.S. Supreme Court just punched us in the gut. Just when URA – and 17,000 other Rutgers workers are negotiating for new contracts, the Supreme Court decided today to abolish the 40‐year old system of “fair‐share” fees, in a case called Janus v. AFSCME.

From now on, as a union member, you’ll be covering the cost of maintaining a strong union… but your co‐workers who are not full members can ride for free.

What will they get for free?

If the power of our union is reduced, it will get harder to fight for fair raises for all of us, and to protect benefits we care most about including tuition remission for ourselves and our family members, strong protections against unfair firing, workplace bullying and harassment, and many others.

You already know this: When we are at the bargaining table, the more Rutgers staff the URAAFT can count as full members, the sooner Rutgers management will listen to us and work to meet our demands for fair raises and other compensation.

Talk to your co‐workers. Ask them if they are union members — and if they are not, ask them: Are you going to wait and see how strong a contract your co‐workers who are union members can negotiate for you?

Ask them: Are you going to wait and see if your union can provide shop stewards, staff and attorneys when everything in your department suddenly goes sideways and you need to file a grievance?

Sign them up today as a full dues‐paying member of URAAFT, with the application form at  Scan and return to or FAX to 732–745-0400.

You already know this, their dues will cost 0.012 (1.2%) of your annual base salary (not lump‐sum payments or overtime).

To learn more about what the union does every day — such as winning the right to use your sick time for doctor’s appointments or teaching members how to enroll for student debt forgiveness, visit

Feel free to reach out to me or any URA steward with any other questions.

Protect your job and benefits today, by talking to another URA worker. It’s how unions work.

Lucye Millerand
President, URAAFT Local 1766

Looking at Janus from the Bargaining Table

vector-pop-art-illustration-man-woman-sitting-negotiation-table-top-view-concept-brainstorming-97657386Bargaining with an employer like Rutgers is difficult enough.  With the Janus decision now in play, do not think twice about maintaining your membership with URA-AFT—it is THE thing ensuring that your stable union job will continue to exist as you enjoy it.  Less memberships means less bargaining strength for proposals that we want and need.  Your co‐workers on the URA bargaining team put countless hours of concern, thought and effort into our proposals based on our collective experiences and your feedback.  There are always gains to be made.  But Rutgers is proposing cuts to our benefits and will win more cuts if we are not unified and working TOGETHER AS MEMBERS.  We have faced similar threats before. Remember when Rutgers froze wages?  We weathered those storms (and even Hurricane Sandy) TOGETHER.  As members we decided to help our brothers and sisters after Sandy. We set up a union‐funded vision care program to offset medical costs when Rutgers did not.   We need to solidify and protect our “seat at the table”.

Bargaining Update:  June 2018

The URA bargaining team met with Rutgers management on May 30, June 7 and June 14.   These are some highlights of discussions

 URA has put proposals on the table to:

  • Reimburse personal vehicle damage while on Rutgers business.
  • Offer telecommuting options for URA titles.
  • University closings tied to a state of emergency.
  • Give laid‐off workers priority for new job openings.

Management has proposed to:

  • Stop counting sick days toward overtime.
  • Increase the cost of meals which Dining Services employees MUST pay.
  • Eliminate the non‐hostile work environment article.
  • Change FMLA rules to reduce length of job protection

Agreements:  Just Cause, Non‐Discrimination, Reclassification & Union Reps.

These proposals from management would take away important protections from our workforce. In May, they proposed to extend the probationary period to a year, and eliminate Steps 1 and 2 of the Grievance process.

In July, URA will propose an economic package including Across‐the‐Board, Merit based and Equity raises, as well as relief from the cost of health insurance.

When will we get a raise?  A new contract?  More job security?  It’s up to you.