Category Archives: Newark Campus

August Bargaining Update and Solidarity for Rutgers Workers

August 2018 Bargaining Update:

On August 13th, the URA bargaining team met with Rutgers management for our 10th meeting.

Management has proposed:

  • FY19: No increase
  • FY20: .5% Merit Pool with a range of distribution of .25%-.75%
  • FY21: No increase
  • FY22: .5% Merit Pool with a range of distribution of .25%-.75% Their proposal for TOTAL salary improvements over the next 4 years is 1.0%
  • Increases to cost of meals Dining Services MUST pay
  • Remove Step 1 and 2 from our Grievance Procedure
  • Delete the Non-Hostile Workplace article from our contract
  • Require use of FMLA concurrent with sick time

We have presented our Salary Improvements proposal which includes:

  • FY19: Across-the-Board Raise with Lump Sum. Same amount for all members
  • FY20: Across-the Board Percentage Raise
  • Equity pool to bring members with more than 5 years’ service to midpoint
  • Lump-sum rebate to defray cost of health insurance
  • FY21: Across-the-Board Percentage Raise
  • Merit pool for members who “Meet Standards” (in unit on first business day of the year)
  • Lump-sum rebate to defray cost of health insurance
  • FY22: Across-the-Board Percentage Raise
  • Equity pool to bring members with more than 15 years’ service to top of range
  • Merit pool for members who “Meet Standards”
  • Lump sum rebate to defray cost of health insurance

Read more here


Scandals and SNAFUs: Rutgers Needs Accountable Leadership

From Rutgers AAUP-AFT; posted on August 3, 2018 by swolf

Dear Colleague,

We’re sending this message mid-summer because there have been so many scandals and SNAFUs that impact us. We are deeply concerned about the lack of accountable leadership at Rutgers. The high volume of summer communications from faculty to our union office suggests that many of you are equally distressed.

We are very concerned by the sudden resignation of Chancellor Dutta after barely a year in that position. We would like to know the nature of the disagreements about the university’s future between him and President Barchi. In our brief interactions with Chancellor Dutta, it appeared that he was open to working with our union around a number of shared goals to make Rutgers a truly great public university. For instance, he spoke of freezing—and even lowering—undergraduate tuition and fees. However, tuition went up
by 2.3% this year. We want to know, for the benefit of our members and students, what constituted the clash of visions between Chancellor Dutta and President Barchi.

Read more here


Rutgers Must Stop Huge Payouts to Booted Coaches and Officials, Lawmakers Say

By Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are criticizing Rutgers University for spending millions on payouts to former coaches and officials who stepped down early or were booted from their jobs.

One influential Democrat said Tuesday she’ll call for a Senate hearing unless University President Robert Barchi can give her an explanation for the decisions.

Rutgers is playing fast and loose with taxpayer money,” Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, said Tuesday. “Whose money do they think they’re throwing around here?”

Read more here


Upcoming Events

URA Bargaining Update Meeting

August 16 @ 12:15 pm — 1:30 pm EDT

Room 346, Conklin Hall, Newark Campus

*****

URA-AFT Workshop: Understanding the Reclassification Process 102

August 22 @ 5:00 pm — 7:00 pm EDT

Room 122, Center for Law and Justice, Newark Campus


Report Back from 2018 AFT Convention

Sticking with the UnionThis year the AFT’s annual convention was held July 12-July 16, 2018 in the city of Pittsburgh, PA. Our motto this year was “We Care. We Fight. We Show Up…And We Vote.”

URA sent six dedicated members to represent our union.URA Delegates at AFT 2018 Convention
Livingston Campus lead steward Leigh-Anne Cobb wrote about her experience attending convention:

New 2018 URA DelegatesAs a first time delegate, I am now confidently prepared with examples and tools for meaningful conversations and outreach to our members. By serving on the Labor and the Economy Committee at the convention, I was able to witness first hand the dedication, authenticity and engagement I hope to attain “to continue the work of building membership and crafting a sure future for the union.”

Read more here


Striking Workers Can Now Get Unemployment Benefits In New Jersey

Updated Aug 12; Posted Aug 10 by Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Verizon workers on strike picket outside the company's Robbinsville location in August 2016.(Michael Mancuso | For NJ.com )

Verizon workers on strike picket outside the company’s Robbinsville location in August 2016.(Michael Mancuso | For NJ.com )

Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a law allowing striking workers to collect unemployment benefits in New Jersey.

State lawmakers first proposed the legislation two years ago as Verizon workers waged a six-week strike against the telecommunications giant’s contract demands. About 4,600 of the 40,000 East Coast employees on strike worked in New Jersey.

Read more here

We Bargain for Members and Advocate for Unions

What the Janus Decision Means To The URA

The 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?

Read more here


Looking at Janus from the Bargaining Table

Bargaining 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”.

Read more here


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!


Remembering Carolyn Foote

A founding member of the Union of Rutgers Administrators-AFT union at Rutgers University, Carolyn Foote died Sunday, June 3, 2018, in Newark, New Jersey. Hundreds of family members, colleagues from Rutgers, the union and community gathered the following Friday to celebrate the impact of her too brief 67 years.

Family members told stories about her role as a matriarch and positive influence on their lives. URA-AFT Executive Vice President Darlene Smith talked about her travels with Foote to union conferences and conventions.

Read more here

Remembering Carolyn Foote

Carolyn Foote
Carolyn Foote

A founding member of the Union of Rutgers Administrators-AFT union at Rutgers University, Carolyn Foote died Sunday, June 3, 2018, in Newark, New Jersey. Hundreds of family members, colleagues from Rutgers, the union and community gathered the following Friday to celebrate the impact of her too brief 67 years.

Family members told stories about her role as a matriarch and positive influence on their lives. URA-AFT Executive Vice President Darlene Smith talked about her travels with Foote to union conferences and conventions.

Foote worked at Rutgers University-Newark in the John Cotton Dana Library for 30 years, the majority of that time as a Library Associate assigned to the Inter-Library Loan Department, identifying, locating and retrieving works for research projects.

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Foote and Dorothy Grauer (right)

Union members will always remember Foote’s friendship and collaboration with Dorothy Grauer, with whom she shared an office for the entirety of her 30 years at Rutgers. Foote and Grauer would finish one another’s sentences and laugh, making references to one another’s family members and colleagues from throughout the campus and broader Newark community. They often traveled together around campus or to meetings in New Brunswick.

The two joined the organizing effort on campus in 2006 and once URA was recognized, steadfastly assumed (sometimes alternating) roles as lead stewards, campus vice presidents and executive board members of their local, as well as delegates to their state and national unions.

Foote led in a quiet, dignified manner. She was not a big talker in meetings, not someone who sought the spotlight or spent time promoting her own achievements.

Since the union’s recognition in 2007, Foote handled many grievances on the Newark campus, according to union director Greg Rusciano. He said that local members will miss having her as a dependable, capable, staunch advocate. Fortunately, the campus enjoys a strong steward structure and one former steward even remarked that she would have to get back to steward duties to try to fill some of the gap of Foote’s absence.

foote obama
Foote and Kathy Licinski (right)

Foote volunteered for many of the union’s political activities, including phone banks and home visits during political campaigns to elect the nation’s first African-American President, and progressive candidates like New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

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Foote at Occupy Wall Street Labor March

Foote represented the union in delegations to Occupy Wall Street to demand economic justice in the movement that declared: “We are the 99%” and decried the excesses of Wall Street millionaires and billionaires.

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Foote at Newark rally against police brutality

She lead the union’s Civil Rights Committee participating in protests and rallies calling for justice for murdered African-American teen Trayvon Martin, a “million-person march against police brutality” in Newark with the People’s Organization for Progress the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March in Washington DC for jobs, peace and freedom.

See Carolyn Foote Obituary »