There was a successful turnout at the March 27 Legislative Luncheon on the Camden Campus. With approximately 50 people in attendance and the Chief of Staff from both Senators Sweeney and Norcross’ office, the Rutgers-Camden community had the opportunity to pose their concerns regarding issues that affect them in South Jersey, specifically questions about the proposed merger of Rutgers-Camden and Rowen University. The representatives listened to the concerns and answered questions from staff, faculty and students about the Camden–Rowan merger.
Norcross’ Chief of Staff, Michael Maitland, informed those in attendance that the Senator was aware of their concerns, that he didn’t support the merger, and that the questions raised at the meeting would be taken back to the Senator. He also suggested to those in attendance that they could also email the Senator their concerns/questions. Some in attendance informed him that they had but that they didn’t receive a response. He then asked them to provide him with their email address, but also mentioned that a response was also provided in the Op Ed of a local newspaper. Senator Sweeney’s Chief of Staff, Anthony Reznick, informed the group that he was new to the position but he would report back to the Senator the concerns and questions raised. He also noted that due to his lack of insight into the situation he would not be able to comment or address any questions on the merger.
From the feedback received the event was well received and appreciation was given to the URA-AFT for hosting the event. Representatives from the AAUP, graduate students, TA’s, staff from other unions, management, and even a faculty member of the Board of Trustees present at the meeting. The legislative committee will continue to participate in ongoing discussions and events surrounding the Camden–Rowan merger.
URA Civil Rights Comm & AFSCME (left to right: Shirley Pettiford, URA; Permelia Toney-Boss, AFSCME VP; Sarah Washington, URA; Dorothy Grauer, URA VP)
On Monday, April 2, 2012, URA-AFT Civil Rights Committee and union members participated in a collaborative march on the Newark campus to demand justice and show solidarity with the family of Trayvon Martin. Martin, an unarmed black teenager who had been walking home from a local store, was confronted and shot by an armed community watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, on February 26, 2012. Union members, faculty and students chanted together in a march that wove its way through a number of busy downtown Newark streets.
“I participated in this march because I have four grandsons,” said Dorothy Grauer. Holding signs reading “Justice for Treyvon Martin” and “What do we want?
Justice!” marchers braved cold winds to get their message out. The event was on coordinated by the Criminal Justice’s National Honor Society Alpha Phi Sigma.
In 2010 URA members were successful candidates to the University Senate. In fact the number of seats available on the senate increased from 10 to 14 for staff representatives. The university announced on Mon., March 19 at 5pm that senate elections were coming up. Unfortunately, they provided only a short window of time to submit names; the deadline was midnight on Fri., March 23. Yesterday it was announced that the voting time has already started but the deadline to choose a senate representative is fast approaching, Wed., April 4.
Below are some of our URA brothers and sisters that we have identified as staff senate candidates; they are all candidates for the New Brunswick election only:
- Elizabeth Amaya-Fernandez, Health Education Specialist, Rutgers Health Service
- Judith Brennan-Kuldinow, Administrative Assistant, and Project Coordinator for the Foster Care Counseling Project, Center for Applied Psychology
- Helen F. Pirrello, Administrative Assistant, Industrial and Systems Engineering, School of Engineering
- Matthew J. Winkler, Assistant Dean, SAS Transfer Center
It was noted by Rutgers that there was no election held for the Newark and Camden positions because “…the number of eligible candidates did not exceed the number of available positions.”
To read the candidates campaign statements or cast your vote please visit the 2012 Staff Senate Election website at this link. The deadline is at 4:30pm on Wed., April 4, 2012. Remember to vote and get our people to the table to represent our concerns.