August Bargaining Update and Solidarity for Rutgers Workers

August 2018 Bargaining Update:

On August 13th, the URA bargaining team met with Rutgers management for our 10th meeting.

Management has proposed:

  • FY19: No increase
  • FY20: .5% Merit Pool with a range of distribution of .25%-.75%
  • FY21: No increase
  • FY22: .5% Merit Pool with a range of distribution of .25%-.75% Their proposal for TOTAL salary improvements over the next 4 years is 1.0%
  • Increases to cost of meals Dining Services MUST pay
  • Remove Step 1 and 2 from our Grievance Procedure
  • Delete the Non‐Hostile Workplace article from our contract
  • Require use of FMLA concurrent with sick time

We have presented our Salary Improvements proposal which includes:

  • FY19: Across‐the‐Board Raise with Lump Sum. Same amount for all members
  • FY20: Across‐the Board Percentage Raise
  • Equity pool to bring members with more than 5 years’ service to midpoint
  • Lump‐sum rebate to defray cost of health insurance
  • FY21: Across‐the‐Board Percentage Raise
  • Merit pool for members who “Meet Standards” (in unit on first business day of the year)
  • Lump‐sum rebate to defray cost of health insurance
  • FY22: Across‐the‐Board Percentage Raise
  • Equity pool to bring members with more than 15 years’ service to top of range
  • Merit pool for members who “Meet Standards”
  • Lump sum rebate to defray cost of health insurance

Read more here

Scandals and SNAFUs: Rutgers Needs Accountable Leadership

From Rutgers AAUPAFT; posted on August 3, 2018 by swolf

Dear Colleague,

We’re sending this message mid‐summer because there have been so many scandals and SNAFUs that impact us. We are deeply concerned about the lack of accountable leadership at Rutgers. The high volume of summer communications from faculty to our union office suggests that many of you are equally distressed.

We are very concerned by the sudden resignation of Chancellor Dutta after barely a year in that position. We would like to know the nature of the disagreements about the university’s future between him and President Barchi. In our brief interactions with Chancellor Dutta, it appeared that he was open to working with our union around a number of shared goals to make Rutgers a truly great public university. For instance, he spoke of freezing—and even lowering—undergraduate tuition and fees. However, tuition went up
by 2.3% this year. We want to know, for the benefit of our members and students, what constituted the clash of visions between Chancellor Dutta and President Barchi.

Read more here

Rutgers Must Stop Huge Payouts to Booted Coaches and Officials, Lawmakers Say

By Adam Clark, NJ Advance Media for

State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are criticizing Rutgers University for spending millions on payouts to former coaches and officials who stepped down early or were booted from their jobs.

One influential Democrat said Tuesday she’ll call for a Senate hearing unless University President Robert Barchi can give her an explanation for the decisions.

Rutgers is playing fast and loose with taxpayer money,” Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, D‐Bergen, said Tuesday. “Whose money do they think they’re throwing around here?”

Read more here

Upcoming Events

URA Bargaining Update Meeting

August 16 @ 12:15 pm — 1:30 pm EDT

Room 346, Conklin Hall, Newark Campus


URAAFT Workshop: Understanding the Reclassification Process 102

August 22 @ 5:00 pm — 7:00 pm EDT

Room 122, Center for Law and Justice, Newark Campus

Report Back from 2018 AFT Convention

Sticking with the UnionThis year the AFT’s annual convention was held July 12‐July 16, 2018 in the city of Pittsburgh, PA. Our motto this year was “We Care. We Fight. We Show Up…And We Vote.”

URA sent six dedicated members to represent our union.URA Delegates at AFT 2018 Convention
Livingston Campus lead steward Leigh‐Anne Cobb wrote about her experience attending convention:

New 2018 URA DelegatesAs a first time delegate, I am now confidently prepared with examples and tools for meaningful conversations and outreach to our members. By serving on the Labor and the Economy Committee at the convention, I was able to witness first hand the dedication, authenticity and engagement I hope to attain “to continue the work of building membership and crafting a sure future for the union.”

Read more here

Striking Workers Can Now Get Unemployment Benefits In New Jersey

Updated Aug 12; Posted Aug 10 by Samantha Marcus, NJ Advance Media for

Verizon workers on strike picket outside the company's Robbinsville location in August 2016.(Michael Mancuso | For )

Verizon workers on strike picket outside the company’s Robbinsville location in August 2016.(Michael Mancuso | For )

Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a law allowing striking workers to collect unemployment benefits in New Jersey.

State lawmakers first proposed the legislation two years ago as Verizon workers waged a six‐week strike against the telecommunications giant’s contract demands. About 4,600 of the 40,000 East Coast employees on strike worked in New Jersey.

Read more here

Join Healthcare Workers on the Picket Line!

HPAE Info Picket 2018 FINALInformational Picket Sign‐up

Join Healthcare Workers on the picket line!

HPAE has been in contract negotiations with Hackensack Meridian Health since May. Please join healthcare workers from The Harborage, Palisades Medical Center, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, & Southern Ocean Medical Center as they hold informational pickets outside each location on August 15th. HPAE members are fighting for patient safety, safe staffing levels and a $15 minimum wage. Let us know you’re coming, register here.

Here Is What You Told President Barchi…

Here is what URA members are writing to University President Robert Barchi while signing the petition: Tell Rutgers To Respect Workers’ Rights And Negotiate A Fair Contract

Whether you add your own words or just submit the pre‐written letter, you are showing your support for a fair contract and workers’ rights by signing the petition to President Barchi.

I have been an employee of this University since June 1989 in one capacity or another, an hourly worker prior to beginning my studies, “Type 5/Class 5” student worker until my graduation in 1993, and a full‐time employee since October 1993. ALL Rutgers workers deserve better.

Stop the attack on workers’ rights and collective bargaining and negotiate a fair contract. Whether today’s omission of dues deductions was intentional or truly an accident, it is sending a poor message to all.

KW, Flemington

As a member of the University, we would like to ask that you have an open mind at the table regarding our contract. We are committed to serving our students and families with the utmost integrity and respect. With scarce resources to perform our jobs (system challenges), we are still committed to perform professional and quality work. As the cost of living rises, so should our income. Some of us are making little to nothing and a decent raise would help feed our families. I would hope that you value your employees from all walks of life at every capacity. Please negotiate a fair contract, soon.

CS, Newark

As a college graduate, wife, mom, millennial, and woman of integrity who has been a full time staff member of Rutgers Newark for 1 year, I see the good that Rutgers can do. Its workers are the ones who fuel its success.

KJ, East Orange

Please urge your management colleagues to work with us to have a fair contract!

LS, Old Bridge

I signed up to be a full member of the URA. It was brought to my attention that some members noticed their dues were not taken out of their paycheck this week. I looked at my paycheck and saw the same happened to me. I am a full member by choice. Why would you keep my dues from the union? It makes the University seem very untrustworthy to act in this manner. Shame on Rutgers. Respect workers’ rights!

MA, Metchuen

If you truly want Rutgers to be a better place, you will invest in your personnel.

MT, North Brunswick

I need Rutgers to negotiate with my union. I need a raise — I work hard and support RU in a variety of ways. But my salary has been going backwards in terms of “real” wages. I’m worse off today than I was when I started here 20 years ago.

Why do we have SO many administrators at the top making SO much money, but there is nothing left for those at the bottom who are ACTUALLY DOING THE WORK to make those administrators look good?

We need fair increases now.

SR, Avenel

The old slogan is truer now than ever: Rutgers works because we do! With all the craziness of Cornerstone and the continued attacks on education by the current GOP administration in Washington, it’s so important that Rutgers supports its administrators. Doing our jobs well means that professors can focus on their research and teaching, and students can focus on their educations rather than being frustrated by poorly managed offices and trying to make up for what is lacking there. Administration is what makes university education and research possible. As a PhD recipient myself, I’ve seen both sides, and I can tell you that a disgruntled workforce hampers the work of education severely. Many many old hands are retiring due to the lack of support from on high, and taking a wealth of institutional knowledge with them. Please support your administrators!

AG, Somerset

As a former Rutgers employee and Union Executive Board member and Steward, I support the Union of Rutgers Administrators.

KL, Millsboro, DE

I fully support the URA.

DM, South River

If not now, when, President Barchi?

Rutgers has benefited from good economic conditions. Presumably there will be leaner times as well. How will you plausibly argue that the university has fallen on hard times that require sacrifice if you never acknowledge better times?

I know that I have benefited from the union. I will never forget that in the previous contract, your opening offer was … $0.00. Nothing. Thankfully, we had a union.

Listen to and have respect for the people who do necessary work across every division of the University.

Dr. Barchi, be an example of respectful and compassionate leadership for Rutgers workers who, like everyone, are working to pay bills and take care of families.

Do what is right and just. 

ST, Somerset

Listen to and have respect for the people who do necessary work across every division of the University.

Stop the attack on workers’ rights and collective bargaining and negotiate with our unions in a judicious manner so workers can have a fair contract.

Stop using Janus v. AFSCME as a tool to bust all Rutgers unions and take away our hard‐earned rights. Strong, respected unions are critical to past, present, and future protection of workers’ rights.

MM, New Brunswick

We are doing our part in coming to the table to negotiate in good faith so members receive fair compensation for the State of New Jersey, health insurance that takes into account we are in the highest tax state in the country and secure retirement benefits that won’t require moving out of New Jersey upon retirement further contributing to the exodus.

RW, Bayonne

Please sign the petition: Tell Rutgers To Respect Workers’ Rights And Negotiate A Fair Contract

Local 1766