Category Archives: New Brunswick/Piscataway Campuses

URA News: URA Demands University Closing Status During Hurricane Sandy

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:


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 LedgerHurricane 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

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 ( and

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 (

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 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 —

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

Your Vote Counts in the Upcoming General Election

Elections Really Do Matter

The URA’s Committee on Political Education (“COPE”) was on hand yesterday, July 18, at the Busch Campus Center from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., spearheading it’s first voter registration drive of the election season. Many people stopped by the table and the committee was successful in registering numerous staff, faculty, and students, many 1st time voters at the university.

Besides providing voter registration, the group also signed up people to Vote-by-Mail and had party declaration forms available. The General Election, which includes US Presidential and Senate candidates, is November 6 this year. Don’t miss out on getting in your vote. To join URA’s non-partisan voter registration drive, contact COPE chair Kay Schechter at

Civil Rights Committee Reports on the Rally for Justice

[381POP7-11-12Rally] (by Carolyn Foote, URA Civil Rights Committee Chair)

On July 11 I attended the last day of the 381-Day Rally for Jobs & Justice, held at the stairs of the Newark Court House. The rally was titled “March and Rally for Jobs, Peace, Equality, and Justice”. As chair of the URA’s Civil Rights Committee, I felt I had to participate in such a momentous occasion. The members of People’s Organization for Progress (“POP”) were out there daily, rain or shine, through cold and snow, with their signs everyday asking people to honk their horns for justice. The protest and observance day was in honor of the 45th anniversary of the Newark Rebellion and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The rally was well attended, there were at least six different unions on board and as many politicians. Most of the unions spoke, and the politicians got a chance to voice their opinion about the rally. They spoke about the positive leadership by Larry Hamm, leader of POP. They also spoke about the significance of the 381-days, and the meaning behind it. The members of POP wanted to emphasize the boycott that took place in Alabama, because of Rosa Parks sitting on the front of the bus. The boycott against the buses lasted for 381-days.

One of the speakers, Professor Barbara Foley, spoke of the injustices that are taking place now against women of color, in areas such as healthcare and unequal wages. Prof. Foley is a professor at Rutgers-Newark and is a member of NOW and POP. Another speaker was Antoinette Baskerville-Richardson, head of the Newark School Advisory Board. She spoke about the injustices being done in the Newark School System and said that the public school parents are being pitted against the charter school parents. She said that all we want is the best for our children and that division will not solve what is being done to Newark Schools.

There were many speeches and recognitions, and the rally marched to City Hall and back to the steps of the Essex County Courthouse. Other attendees at the rally were URA President Lucye Millerand, AFTNJ Communications Director Nat Bender (and his parents), URA attorney Bennet Zurofsky, Newark Councilwoman Mildred Crump, and former Newark Councilman William Payne. The rally was well attended and the crowd was fired up for justice.

News from the Newark Campus

 (by Farrukh Salikhov, Newark Lead Steward)


Newark stewards met on June 20 to discuss a possibility of the campus monthly membership bulletin. The 1st issue will appear this Fall.

[Pictured l to r: Farrukh Salikhov, Carlos Miranda, Dorothy Grauer, Carolyn Foote, Theresa O’Neill, Jo Nagle, Shyeka Hopkins]