County‐based employees and winter break

Most Rutgers employees will enjoy a long holiday break this year, but some of our members working in Cooperative Extension, based in county offices will be working on the four floating holidays (Dec. 27–30  this year.)  County‐based employees in the URA unit who are assigned to offices which follow a holiday schedule that is different than that set forth in Article 14 “Holidays” section of the 2007–2011 URAAFT Administrative Unit Contract are entitled to a day and a half of holidays for each of those days when they work.

The March 18, 2008  agreement states that “…members of the bargaining unit who are assigned to county offices which follow a holiday schedule different from that set forth in the Agreement, shall follow the holiday schedule established in their respective county of assignment except that no such member shall receive less than 14 holidays.” It goes on to say that “Employees who are assigned to counties which schedule less than 14 holidays shall receive an extra personal holiday(s) to be scheduled within the same fiscal year at the mutual convenience of the bargaining unit member and his/her supervisor.”

The most common county holidays are Washington’s and Lincoln’s Birthdays, Good Friday, Columbus, Veteran’s  and Election Day.  However, if your county does not observe all of these, you should request personal holiday time from your supervisor, at the rate of 1 1/2 days.

Read the 2008 side agreement here.

2012 Union Plus Scholarship – Deadline Approaching

Visit UnionPlus.org/Scholarships today.…the Union Plus Scholarship deadline is coming up:

The deadline to apply for the 2012 Union Plus Scholarship is January 31, 2012.

Since 1992, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $3.2 million to students of union families, with over 2,100 union families benefiting from Union Plus’ commitment to higher education.

OPRA helps protect NJ schools from scandals like Penn State’s

By Lucye Millerand

From http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2011/11/opra_helps_protect_nj_schools.html

We reel in disbelief over the tragic events at Penn State. We ask ourselves what can be done to prevent a repetition of such grossly unethical conduct — the alleged crimes and the abject failure of accountability at Penn State. Sunshine is the most powerful disinfectant, and access to university records by the public, media, community organizations and other government institutions is a deterrent to this sort of infection.

Fortunately, New Jersey’s public universities are subject to our state’s Open Public Records Act. However, Penn State University is exempted from Pennsylvania’s Right To Know Law, the corresponding legislation across the Delaware.

Thank goodness,” we say, “that sort over cover‐up can’t happen here.” But the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education, in its December 2010 report, suggests New Jersey loosen the OPRA provisions on public colleges and universities. The task force, chaired by former Gov. Tom Kean and primarily comprising college and university executives, notes:

Requests for open public records are regularly submitted … by the public, labor unions, the media and government officials. … The institutions must produce the records … using valuable resources. The state should prohibit multiple requests for the same reason by the same entity.”

Readers who have followed The Star-Ledger’s coverage of irresponsible spending, no‐bid contracts and personal executives contracts with six‐digit separation payments to recognize the value of OPRA data to New Jersey’s public. Those who remember the State Commission of Investigation’s 2007 report “Vulnerable to Abuse” appreciate the need to have adequate records available to government officials.

Our organization, the Union of Rutgers Administrators (AFT Local 1766), uses the Open Public Records Act to obtain data on the complete Rutgers payroll twice each year. These “multiple requests” are not frivolous — they enable comparisons of data over time. Researchers call this “longitudinal analysis.” It is used to identify change.
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