Category Archives: URA Contract

Sandy‐Related Absence: Who Pays?

URA Executive Director Bob Cousins has sent the following memo to the Office of Labor Relations.  Every member should seek directions from their supervisor before charging storm‐related absence to any form of time off.

In coming weeks, URA will be surveying members on hurricane‐related emergency and long‐terms needs.  At the general membership meeting on Monday, November 12 , we will discuss actions we can take to the shocking lack of concern for the safety of staff members that Rutgers top management have shown during the Hurricane Sandy emergency.

 

Dear Harry,

The reason I am sending you this email is we seem to be having some confusion by some departments on how employees will be compensated for the problems caused by Sandy.

Just to make sure that there is no confusion it is the Unions’ position that:

  • For the morning of Monday, October 29, 2012 employees who could not report to work due to the weather may charge the morning to administrative leave, vacation, or personal holiday if available, or can have his/her salary appropriately adjusted. There will be no disciplinary action taken for such absence. [URA Contract, Article 48, University Closing, section B.]
  • All employees will be compensated for the afternoon of Monday, October 29, 2012, all day TuesdayOctober 30 and all day Wednesday, October 31, 2012 and will not be required to charge personal time to avoid loss of pay. [URA Contract, Article 48, University Closing, section A.]
  • All employees who could not report to work on Thursday,  November 1 and  Friday, November 2, 2012  may charge the day to administrative leave, vacation, or personal holiday if available, or will have his/her salary appropriately adjusted. There will be no disciplinary action taken for such absence. [URA Contract, Article 48, section B.]
  • All “essential” personal who reported to work on the afternoon of Monday, October 29, 2012, and/or Tuesday, October 30, and/or Wednesday, October 31 will be compensated  at the rate of time and one half for the time worked plus their regular salary.  [URA Contract, Article 49, University Policies and Procedures]
  • Any employee who was notified by their superior not to report to work on the morning of Monday, October 29, and/or Thursday, November 1 and/or Friday, November 2 will be compensated for the days they were instructed not to report to work and will not have to charge the day(s) to administrative leave, vacation, or personal holiday if available, and will not have his/her salary appropriately adjusted.  [URA Contract, Article 49, University Policy (60.3.16, section B.)]
  • Any employee whose regular worksite was closed for storm‐related causes and who was not provided with an alternative worksite will not have to charge the day(s) to administrative leave, vacation, or personal holiday if available, and will not have his/her salary appropriately adjusted. [URA Contract, Article 49, University Policy]
  • Supervisors may choose to compensate employees for the morning of Monday, October 29,  Thursday, November 1 and/or Friday, November 2 and the employee will not have to charge the day(s) to administrative leave, vacation, or personal holiday if available, and will not have his/her salary appropriately adjusted. [URA Contract, Article 49, University Policy]

If I do not hear from you otherwise we will assume that the University agrees with our position.

Choosing “Other” When Your Building is Closed

If your office building was closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy you should not be charged for the day; an “Other” day should be designated on your time report by the department and in the description section ask that “Hurcn‐BldgClosed” is written for Hurricane‐Building Closed. Also contact the URA if you could not work at your worksite. If you encountered similar weather‐related issues because you had to come into work please contact your union steward (http://www.ura-aft.org/ura-stewards).

URA News: URA Demands University Closing Status During Hurricane Sandy

Rutgers and President Barchi Puts Staff At Risk

 

Governor Christie warned New Jerseyans to stay off the roads and closed all state offices; New Jersey Transit, SEPTA, PATCO,  Amtrak and the MTA suspended service; Police in many towns turned motorists back from dangerous roadways.  And Rutgers?  Rutgers told staff (but not faculty or students)   that Hurricane Sandy was not enough to close offices and non‐essential staff should make their way in to work.  URA urges President Barchi to join with the rest of New Jersey, put safety first and declare  a Weather Emergency.

Many at Rutgers suspect that management refuses to declare a weather emergency in order to save the time‐and‐a‐half pay that would be owed to essential services workers.  We have to ask :  how much is our safety worth?

We have dealt with this before with the old administration; apparently, lack of concern for our safety remains the same with the new leadership at Rutgers.  Show your anger, disbelief, and disappointment with the new administration’s total disregard for the safety of Rutgers employees by calling President Barchi at 848–932-7454 and emailing him at this link.  Tell him to declare a “UNIVERSITY CLOSING” for Monday 10/29 and Tuesday 10/30.  Also email and call your department heads, deans and directors with the same message. In fact, let the mayors of Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick, Governor Christie, and your elected officials know how little Rutgers administration cares about its employee’s safety.  The current weather conditions are way beyond what constitutes a “Weather Alert” and should, for all intent and purposes be changed to University Policy section 60.3.16, section B. University Closing, which states:

B. “Weather Emergency” — Campus(es) Closed. A “Weather Emergency” is defined as a period of hazardous weather conditions (blizzard, hurricane, tornado, flood, etc.) during which travel is recognized as an imminent danger to life and property in the area of the University or any of its campuses. A “Weather Emergency” may be declared and a major campus (New Brunswick, Newark or Camden) consequently closed only by the designated authority: in New Brunswick, by the President; in Newark and Camden, by their respective Chancellors who shall notify the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration of the starting and ending times of the closing.  More of this policy can be found here.

Below are your contractual rights during a University Closing:

ARTICLE 48 — UNIVERSITY CLOSINGS

A. For a day or days when the University is officially declared as “Closed” by the President or appropriate Vice‐President, employees shall not be required to charge vacation days, administrative leave, or personal holidays to avoid loss of pay.  More of Article 48 can be found here.

 


Ripped From Today’s Headlines — Hurricane Sandy

 

The Courier Post (Cherry Hill) – Sandy expected to hit South Jesey hard

The Home News and Tribune (Central New Jersey) – New Brunswick evacuates residents between Albany Street and Commercial Avenue

The Newark Star LedgerHurricane Sandy ready to lash N.J. with unprecedented fury


Is It Safe To Go To Work

 

(Though originally posted in URA News on 8/31/2011, this article is still timely in light of our current weather situation. Article 48 of our contract “University Closings” can be found at here.)

(photo of Rt. 18, New Brunswick, from The Home News & Tribune at http://cmsimg.mycentraljersey.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?NewTbl=1&Site=CN&Date=20110829&Category=MULTIMEDIA02&ArtNo=308290027&Ref=PH&Item=1&Maxw=620&Maxh=465&q=60)

Yet again, Rutgers has put the safety of the staff at the bottom of the list. In light of the hurricane this past weekend Rutgers made the decision (and rightly so) to safeguard the students by delaying move‐in day, but non‐essential staff still had to come into work on Monday. We have questioned the prudence of the University’s “Weather Alert‐University Open” policy before (URA 1/31/2011 article) and suffice to say, they just don’t get it.

Is this the right way to show you care about your workers? Unfortunately Rutgers is not alone this time; though under a state‐of‐emergency State employees were also instructed to go to work, while staying off the roads at the same time (http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/08/top_union_official_blasts_gov.html and http://www.bluejersey.com/diary/19318/chris-christie-risks-lives-for-politics).

If your building was closed you should not be charged for the day; if you were or had similar weather‐related issues because you had to come into work please contact your union steward (http://www.ura-aft.org/ura-stewards).


Elections Matter — 2012 Upcoming Action Alerts III

The Committee on Political Education (COPE) invites you to attend these upcoming Fall events. We look forward to your participation and support.

Deadlines to Apply for Vote by Mail Approaching:

(courtesy of the League of Woman Voters of New Jersey)

  • Vote By Mail — In New Jersey, any voter can vote by mail using a “Vote by Mail” ballot (formerly absentee ballot). However, you must apply.   Vote by Mail Applications
  •  Apply by mail: If you choose to send your vote by mail application by mail, it must be received by your County  Clerk no later than Tuesday, October 30.
  •  Apply in person: There is a 3 p.m. deadline on November 5 to apply for a “Vote by Mail’ ballot in person at your County Clerk’s office.

If you have any questions visit www.lwvnj.org or call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey’s toll‐free voter assistance hotline, 1–800-792-VOTE(8683).

Join us for Popcorn and Koch:

Koch Brothers Exposed — 2 movie screenings — Free — http://www.kochbrothersexposed.com

11/1/2012 at the Graduate Student Lounge, Rutgers Student Center, 126 College Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Continue reading URA News: URA Demands University Closing Status During Hurricane Sandy