Though the April 30 deadline for complete your SCP has come and gone, there are still several things you need to keep in mind before October 1, when receipt of the third salary increase provided in 2012 under the URA Agreement are distributed:
A. If you have not done so already, you can still send a self-appraisal/comment to your SCP but it must be submitted before June 1, 2012
B. Those who were not given an evaluation by the April 30 deadline will automatically receive a 2.25% merit raise effective October 1, 2012
C. Everyone whose overall rating is “Meets Standards” must receive a minimum increase of 2%. The maximum merit increase is 4%. You can only receive a merit-based bonus if you are at the top of your salary grade. You must be employed at Rutgers in a URA position to be eligible for the October raise.
D. The merit award letters will no longer be mailed to you; you will be able to see your salary award letter online on or about October 1 at the UHR website at http://www.uhr.rutgers.edu
E. You can appeal your evaluation if 1) the procedures were not followed, 2) that there was a demonstrable factual inconsistency, or 3) that you were not evaluated according to the performance standards for your job. The deadline for this appeal is 30 days from the time you receive the October letter. If you believe your evaluation is incorrect, you should start the process now with Step 1 above. For information about appealing a SCP evaluation click here and review Appendix F of the URA Contract for complete details
If any member has a question about their SCP, they should contact their steward or call or email the URA office.
Vacation Policy Transition—Make It Work For You
In 2010, University HR proposed changes to the vacation policy for staff. URA called for negotiations to protect our unit members and negotiated a letter of agreement which applies specifically to URA members. Both documents can be viewed on the URA website http://www.ura-aft.org/node/500. The URA negotiating team found most members who had accrued high amounts of vacation accrual did so because their requests to use vacation time had been denied. The new vacation policy which we negotiated states for the first time states that “Requests for vacations shall not be unreasonably denied.”
Now, as we approach the end of fiscal year 2011–2012 and face the summer vacation season, URA members should consider how to use this policy to their best advantage. Keep in mind that by July 1, 2013 it will be almost impossible to “roll over” more than one year’s vacation allowance.
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Reflections of the AFTNJ Convention
URA activists had the opportunity to attend the AFTNJ Convention in Galloway, NJ the weekend of April 20 and 21. Besides attending workshops and serving as URA delegates to AFTNJ, the state federation of AFT, members were able to network with other AFT colleagues. Participants had this to say about their experience…
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Off Campus Meets at Convention
Christine O’Connell, chair of our Off Campus Concerns committee, took the AFTNJ convention experience to another level by inviting some off campus members to participate at the April 20th event. She noted that
The highlight of the weekend for me was after dinner when I discovered that several off campus members of the URA had joined us. It was fabulous having an impromptu off campus meeting to discuss issues that pertain to our department only.
(Pictured l to r: Shari Harding, Peter Fazzino, Christine O’Connell & Louella Heaton)
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Health and Safety Committee Wins Award
During the weekend of April 20–22, 2012 the URA-AFT’s Health and Safety Committee received the Annual Workers’ Memorial Award. This was presented at the AFT’s 35th Annual Paraprofessional and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) Conference held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. This award is presented to selected locals for doing good work around health and safety issues.
Amy Bahruth, Assistant Director of AFT’s Health and Safety Program and Rutgers AFT-AAUP member, accepted the award on behalf of the URA at the PSRP Workers’ Memorial Day Luncheon. Reporting back from the conference Amy noted that the award was presented to the URA’s Health and Safety committee because it has developed an active and rigorous health and safety agenda for its members on all three Rutgers University campuses, in addition to off campus locations.
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The performance evaluation or Staff Compensation Program for URA employees is now underway. Under the URA Agreement, all URA unit members as of January 1st, 2012 are eligible for evaluation and merit pay. The pay will be distributed in October of 2012 to all members who remain employed in URA titles. Here are some tips to make the process work for you.
Do a self-appraisal: The SCP process provides three opportunities to present your own assessment of your performance. First is the self-appraisal, which should be done before you meet with your supervisor. The awkward March –to-March time period does not match either the academic or fiscal year. Look back at your emails, files or calendar. Make your own list of accomplishments for the year. For example: Did you whittle down a backlog? Take on new tasks? Improve a process? Organize a successful event? Learn a new system?
Pay attention to percentages: Workloads change, but the total percentages of key duties should still be 100%. So if one portion of your job grows, another needs to diminish. Supervisors sometimes criticize performance when the real problem is that tasks have grown more complex or time-consuming.
Use the self-appraisal to correct the record: If your supervisor’s appraisal does not accurately describe your work, use your self-appraisal a second time by adding to the evaluation form when you sign it. This information must go forward to the next level of management. Once the evaluation process is complete, and you receive
notification of your raise, you still have the chance to appeal the result; the third use for your self-appraisal.
Complete the evaluation form: If you have received a completed evaluation form, signed by your supervisor, you should sign it. You should only refuse to sign if you are given an incomplete form. Your signature shows that you have received and read the form, not that you agree.