• You will receive a bargaining survey by campus mail in the next few days. Complete and return it. Share your priorities and your suggestions for a better contract.
• Host a lunchtime or after-work meeting at your worksite to share opinions and ideas about our next contract.
• Join the Contract Committee, analyzing survey results and helping craft bargaining language (open to full-dues paying members).
• Join the Campaign Team. It takes communication, action and solidarity to win a strong contract (open to full-dues paying members).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer for any of these action items.
Did you know?
• Our current contract runs through August 2014. We are on the same timeline as our sister faculty local, Rutgers AAUP-AFT.
• We are due a $500 bonus in July, the last scheduled payout in this contract. There is no salary increase scheduled for July.
• Our bargaining team will be comprised of 10 members and one alternate.
• The bargaining team will be supported by a contract proposal committee, which will research and write the proposals we bring to the bargaining table, and a contract campaign team, which will build solidarity away from the table.
Two dozen prospective members of the URA bargaining team gathered on Saturday to learn about the bargaining process and how to win a strong contract when our current contract expires in August.
Participants crafted sample proposals and bargained with a mock management team. “We saw some excellent proposals, and some impassioned role playing on union and management sides,” said URA President Lucye Millerand.
Members offered serious thoughts on how to improve the URA contract. “The seniority article needs to be broadened,” said Lori Dars of New Ventures and Entrepreneurship on Cook. “It has to be expanded beyond what is currently defined as unit to more accurately reflect the reality of how our departments and units are structured.”
Jeremy Guenter of the Business School in Newark said he hears many concerns about the SCP process and the need for guaranteed raises. “Unfortunately, across the state there has been a lot of chiseling away of benefits so we need to protect what we have,” said Guenter. “Our benefits are not excessive. There is no reason we should have to lose anything. Many of our members forget what things were like before we had a union so we need to remind people of the value of the contract,” he said.
Dars started at Rutgers in 2001. “Since getting a contract, I see our members as more confident and stronger,” she said. “The merger with the medical schools makes the unionized portion of the workforce much larger. We could have a greater voice in how the university is run if we stand together.”
At the end of the day, the participants nominated those they felt most qualified to form the team which will negotiate the next URA contract. The Executive Board will review the makeup of the team, and propose the list to the March 21 membership meeting.