Category Archives: URA Contract

What The Flex? URA-AFT Staff Toolkit

The roll out of Rutgers Management’s FlexWork@RU initiative is a mess.
Management has not negotiated this policy with the affected unions and so what’s supposed to be a “flexible work arrangement” is more accurately, a top-down directive on our work arrangements for the next year. Across Rutgers University staff are seeing Management not even follow the conditions of its own program. What the Flex!?

Use this What the Flex? URA-AFT Staff Toolkit to help you navigate this pilot program, learn about the process and all the options you have to ensure your voice is heard when making decisions about “flexible work arrangements.”

Task Force Issues Are Also Union Negotiations Issues

New Brunswick, NJ—The Future of Work (FoW) Task Force, established by President Holloway to reflect on lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and to offer recommendations for the future of work at Rutgers, held listening sessions open to faculty and staff on February 17, February 25, and March 1.

Although URA and other staff unions requested to be included on the task force, none were appointed. Speakers could briefly address the listening sessions, and the number of speakers was limited for each session.  In spite of these limitations, a number of URA-AFT members spoke, proposing policies that could be implemented at Rutgers. These included continued telecommuting and flexible work arrangements, robust health and safety practices, and the meaningful inclusion of workers into decision-making processes concerning their workplaces.

Additionally, URA-AFT members raised issues that the FoW should take into account when making their recommendations. These included the ongoing normalization of burnout culture, the unreasonable demands often placed upon understaffed teams, and the lack of policies, practices, and pay reflecting the values of a “Beloved Community” within Rutgers.

URA-AFT members proposed several solutions to these issues, including salary improvements, compensatory pay for additional workloads, retention pay, and other methods to recognize employees, the details of which could be negotiated for aligned employees.

URA-AFT members and union representatives advocated for a fair and permanent telework option that balances safety, professional requirements, and environmental concerns. URA-AFT, along with other unions at Rutgers, will be at the negotiating table with management this year, bringing this proposal and other lessons learned during the pandemic to the table.

Meet Your URA Bargaining Team

At the Monday, April 11, 2022 membership meeting, URA members overwhelmingly voted to approve the following members recommended by the Executive Board as the URA Bargaining Team for 2022. You can discover here about the members of URA Baragining team.

We have a diverse team that is representative of our geographical locations and has expertise across many departments. Please to support your team as we move into negotiations for a successor contract. 

Team Members are: Christine O’Connell, URA President; Gregory Rusciano, URA Director; Charles Basden, Graduate School of Education, New Brunswick; Diana Byrd, School of Business, Camden; Leigh-Anne Cobb, Rutgers Business School, New Brunswick; Ryan Csordas, SAS EOF, New Brunswick; Alexandra Del Collo, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Off Campus; Joshua Eaise, NJ Step, Newark, Off Campus; Justin Esperon, Dining Services, New Brunswick; Josephine Nagle, Rutgers Law School, Newark; Barbara Nowakowski, SAS Division of Life Services, New Brunswick; and Alessandra Sperling, English Writing Program, New Brunswick. 

Alternates are: Barry Bailey, Institutional Planning and Operations, New Brunswick; Isaac Jiménez, SASN, Newark; and Mikaela Maria, School of Nursing, Camden. 

Please join me in congratulating and thanking our Bargaining Team members for their commitment and service to our union!