Category Archives: News clips

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 AAUPAFT; 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.

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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?”

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Upcoming Events

URA Bargaining Update Meeting

August 16 @ 12:15 pm — 1:30 pm EDT

Room 346, Conklin Hall, Newark Campus

*****

URAAFT 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.”

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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.

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

golden_parachute_2357c1ac11af719State 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?”

The criticism comes after an NJ Advance Media analysis found Rutgers has agreed to pay out more than $11.5 million in settlements, contract buyouts and sabbatical payments to more than a dozen top coaches and officials over the past decade.

That latest happened last month when Rutgers New Brunswick Chancellor Deba Dutta resigned after one year on the job and received a one‐year, $480,000 sabbatical before returning to teaching. The sabbatical was not included in Dutta’s contract unless he had worked for five years as chancellor.

A week later, NJ Advance Media revealed Rutgers paid former Athletic Director Julie Hermann about $500,000 more than she was owed for being fired without cause in 2015. Hermann was already owed about $1.1 million but got the  additional compensation in exchange for agreeing not to sue the university for wrongful termination, NJ Advance Media learned.

Weinberg sent a letter to Barchi this week calling such payouts “a gross misapplication of university resources,” according to a copy of the letter provided to reporters.

She called for transparency, including explanations about why top officials were let go and what payments were or were not contractually obligated.

Some of the decisions were made prior to Barchi’s arrival at Rutgers in 2012, but the university will be happy to discuss any cases that happened during his tenure, spokeswoman Carissa Sestito said.

We will certainly provide a detailed response to her letter,” Sestito said. “The settlements were all entered into with the best interests of the university in mind.”

Weinberg’s criticism echoed complaints from Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, R‐Morris, who called Dutta’s sabbatical “insane.”

Tuition dollars should be spent on students, not boat checks for administrators,” Pennacchio said. “It is completely unfair and unjust to ask taxpayers and students to continue to subsidize this kind of reckless spending.”

Rutgers receives about 20 percent of its funding from the state, according to the university.

Staff writer Brent Johnson contributed to this report. 

Adam Clark may be reached at adam_clark@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on twitter at @realAdamClarkFind NJ.com on Facebook

Striking Workers Can Now Get Unemployment Benefits In New Jersey

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 )