Category Archives: News clips

What’s Going On At The Bargaining Table

Fair Contract Now! Video

Rutgers has hundreds of millions in unrestricted reserves that could go to make tuition affordable, pay raises and make the university a better place for everyone. Join URA-AFT and the Coalition of Rutgers Unions in calling for fairness at Rutgers.

Watch URA members and others at Rutgers speak on the importance of Bargaining for a Fair Contract at

May Bargaining Update

The URA bargaining team met with Rutgers management for the first three negotiating sessions on April 9, April 24, and May 7. These are some highlights of discussions so far:

URA has put proposals on the table to:

  • Provide equal allowance of Administrative Leave (AL) days when a 10-month position is converted to 12 months. (Article 3)
  • Extend bereavement leave to members who have cared for non-family members at the end of life by serving as health proxies, executors or making final arrangements. Allow bereavement leave at the time that a funeral is held, especially military funerals where the family cannot choose the date. (Article 6)
  • Prevent workplace bullying by clarifying the criteria and procedures for our Non-Hostile Workplace Conference. (Article 27)

Read more here

URA-AFT General Membership Meeting (New Location)

URA-AFT General Membership Meeting

May 21 @ 5:30 pm — 7:00 pm EDT

Room 101, Hickman Hall, Douglass Campus

Agenda: Second Reading and Vote on the Budget

Open to full dues members only. Membership forms available at the door.

Update on OptumRX and the NJ State Health Benefit Plan

Last week the New Jersey Appellate Court ruled that the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) contract for the New Jersey State Health Benefit Plan will have to be rebid. OptumRX is the current plan manager and will continue to administer the health plan while the state decides whether to appeal the Appellate Court decision.

In the meantime please be aware of your right to appeal any denials from OptumRX.

Read more here

Rutgers Day — April 28, 2018

Thanks to all the URA members who made Rutgers Day a record-shattering success. And a special shout-out to the volunteers who not only registered voters at our COPE table, but also kept the crowd engaged while providing civic education. Pictures of the URA activities can be found on our Facebook page at

Read more here

On Labor Day, we honor all of our members

In honor of Labor Day, AFT President Randi Weingarten has this to say on why unions matter for working families:

Our union is our members, and on this Labor Day weekend, I couldn’t be prouder of the 1.6 million hardworking nurses, teachers, paraprofessionals, higher education faculty and public employees who work day in and day out to teach our kids, keep our families healthy and improve our communities. They deserve our thanks and our gratitude.

Even though, as we celebrate this Labor Day, the attacks on labor are unrelenting, it should go without saying that a robust American Labor movement remains essential to our nation’s democracy and economy. Here’s the truth: Unions built the American middle class, and the benefits of being in a union continue to be undeniable. Union workers make an average of 30 percent more than nonunion workers; 92 percent of union workers have job-related health coverage, compared with 68 percent of nonunion workers; and union workers are more likely to have retirement security. And a new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows that a union contract significantly reduces the wage gap between men and women.

Our union has been on the forefront of advocating for great neighborhood public schools regardless of wealth or race. We have made incredible strides in turning around struggling schools and advancing our community schools agenda, and in pushing for better practices for safe patient handling and better staffing ratios for health professionals. And we will continue to press for hardworking Americans to have the right to collectively bargain so they can negotiate for the fair wages and benefits they deserve.”

AFT members dedicate themselves every day to improving the lives of those they serve. We are a union that believes in creating a better future for ourselves, our families and our communities, which is why we champion fairness, democracy and economic opportunity. So on this Labor Day, thank you, sisters and brothers, for who you are, for having each other’s back and for having the community’s best interests at heart. We are our union.”

[AFT press release]

LETTER: Rutgers failing to invest in employees

Nicole J. Nicholas
Research Contracts and Grants Specialist, Rutgers University

I’ve worked for Rutgers for 15 years and this has become my home. Because of this financial situation that we find ourselves we all have our own personal struggles, but I’m not going to talk about those because we all do have them. What I’m here to tell you is how poor Rutgers’ image has become among those that work here.

I find it ironic that Rutgers wants to be seen nationally as not only an Institution of Higher Education but one of superior excellence along with the recent achievement of becoming a Big Ten school. However its staff and faculty are not being lifted up to those levels as well. This university has become a business; a corporation where academia and research have taken second seat to the generation of revenue.

Over the course of the 15 years that I’ve been here, I’ve seen the tide of the university ebbing and the flow receding more and more. This used to be an exemplary institution, one that I was proud to work for. I still have my school pride, but my faith and benevolence in the inner workings of this institution have severely waned and I’m left to wonder, does my presence here even matter?

Continue reading LETTER: Rutgers failing to invest in employees