Tag Archives: benefits

Union Scholarship Opportunity for High School Students

The Raymond A. Peterson Scholarship will be presented to award recipients on April 28, 2013 at the Middlesex and Somerset Counties AFL-CIO Labor Council’s Annual Awards Brunch.  This scholarship opportunity is available a student who is, or whose parent/guardian is, a member in good standing in a local union affiliated with the Middlesex and Somerset Counties AFL-CIO Labor Council.  Full dues membership in the URA-AFT meet this requirement.

The first place winner will receive $2,500.  You can download the application form here.  For additional information on the scholarship or awards brunch please click here.

Defensive Driving Classes for URA Members

[by Christine O’Connell, Off Campus Chairperson]

We are proud to announce that off campus Community Assistants/Community Coordinators are finally getting to take the defensive driving class that was cancelled due to Superstorm Sandy on Monday, February 25, 2013!  This opportunity was originally negotiated for us because we drive from site to site as part of our jobs and put obscene amounts of mileage and wear and tear on our personal vehicles but weren’t allowed to take the defensive driving class on Rutgers time.  Our union heard our concerns and with the help of our Health and Safety committee, negotiated with our department head to allow us to have release time to take this very important class.  Some benefits to taking this class include how to be better drivers and the option to lower our insurance premiums and/or reduce the points that we may have on our licenses through an additional fee.

Also, because many of us have to travel from all parts of New Jersey in order to take the class in New Brunswick, URA-AFT will reimburse mileage for all those who attend and are full dues paying members.  They are also providing lunch for us as an extra incentive to get all who are still thinking about participating to go ahead and register for this class.

So, if you are a Community Assistant or Community Coordinator who works for SNAP-ed or EFNEP throughout the state and are a full dues paying member of URA, please take advantage of this opportunity.

The link to register is:

Choose February 25, 2013 and follow the directions.

This is another benefit of being a full member so if you are interested in joining, please call Christine O’Connell, Off Campus chair, for membership information. Thank you to all those who were instrumental in getting this to fruition!  We appreciate your hard work on our behalf!

Contract Education:


The URA is committed to ensuring that our membership is well-versed in our contract and our rights.  To that end we are rolling out a series of Contract Education articles to help you understand the importance of our contract; how the various articles are beneficial to you, and when and how they are applicable.


What is the Difference Between Union Dues and Agency Fee?

Our union represents two different types of  employees.  One is a union member who pays dues and is a full member of the URA.  The other is a person who has not signed a membership card and is an “agency fee” employee.

Under the URA-AFT Constitution, Article X, dues have been set by the membership at 1.2% of your yearly straight time salary. For an average employee represented by the URA this translates into approximately $26.00 per pay period.  Those who have not signed a membership card pay 85% of the 1.2% dues rate.  For the average agency fee employee this translates to approximately $22.10 per pay period. [See

Union dues are the life blood of our union.  Without dues, there would be no lost-time pay for negotiating committee members, no funds for training, no lawyers to pursue arbitrations, no one to turn to when you are unfairly treated or disciplined, and no trained representatives to take your side when things get bad.  You are simply at the mercy of your employer.

So what is the difference between being a full member or just paying the Agency Fee?

The following outlines the basic difference between joining the Union of Rutgers Administrators or paying the Agency Fee.

Union Dues:

By choosing to pay Union Dues, you become a full member of the Union of Rutgers Administrators.  In addition there are many benefits to becoming a full member of the URA-AFT.  They are:

  • Gives you and your co-workers a louder voice at the negotiating table, as well as State and National political issues effecting public sector workers.
  • Full rights and benefits outlined in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Union of Rutgers Administrators and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
  • The ability to run and vote in local URA elections.  This gives you, the member, the opportunity to vote for your leadership or become a URA leader yourself.  Additionally, your voting rights give you more of a voice in many policy decisions that affect your employment at Rutgers including those found in our contract.
  • The ability to vote on your contract.
  • Eligibility for numerous URA Discounts & Programs which include, but are not limited to various insurance, travel and entertainment discounts. [See http://www.aft.org/benefits]
  • As a dues paying member, you may also be eligible to receive legal advice in certain employment related, non-contractual matters as well as access to an Attorney Referral Service for other matters. Agency fee payers have no access to this benefit.
  • Only Dues Paying members can attend URA Monthly Membership Meetings and get continuous access to the URA’s electronic newsletters (E‑News). This gives you access to the most important information regarding raises and other timely information.

Agency Fee:

Full-Time: 85% of union dues or 1.02% of yearly straight time salary. [$3.90 less per pay period]

By only paying the agency fee you are only entitled to:

  • Full rights and benefits outlined in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Union of Rutgers Administrators and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.  As an Agency Service Fee payer, you have no access to any of the numerous URA-AFT benefits.  The Agency Service Fee covers only the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It is very important to all of us represented by the URA to be full members.  The benefits you receive are well worth the $3.90 per pay period.