Message to union members from Christine O’Connell, President
Congratulations to our membership for your part in the overwhelming ratification of the fiscal emergency agreement. Each of you played an important role in this ratification, with 74% of our members voting, and with 98% voting yes to ratify. This is the highest voting turnout in the history of our union. From the elections committee, your executive board, and myself, we thank you.
Today, we celebrate our important step together, as URA and as part of the Coalition of Rutgers Unions who represent 20,000 workers. We fought in solidarity, to make gains for all of us, and have now ratified a historic agreement with Rutgers that encompasses multiple unions and our needs.
What comes next?
We will transmit our ratification results to Rutgers and they will transmit the workshare plan to the Department of Labor for approval. Then, Rutgers will compile the lists of those who are eligible for furloughs. We will review their accuracy. Shortly after, we can start requesting our preference for the day of week for furlough days from your departments.
What not to do
DO NOT apply for unemployment yet. More information will come from Rutgers and your union with details on how to apply for unemployment soon. Click here to check if you were a victim of unemployment in the last year.
If you were a victim of identity theft/unemployment fraud please email us at email@example.com. We are still collecting names of those who were impacted.
We have a Tentative Agreement (also known as “Memorandum of Agreement”/MOA) from our negotiations to settle the declaration of fiscal emergency. This joint negotiation was hard fought and won together, for the members of URA, HPAE (Locals 5089 and 5094), CWA (Local 1031), and AAUP-AFT. It is the first agreement of its kind where management negotiated with the Coalition of Rutgers Unions and we are proud of the work to accomplish this agreement on behalf of all of our locals. In order for this tentative agreement to go into effect, members must vote yes to ratify the agreement. The Executive Board of the URA supports this agreement and encourages a YES vote to ratify the agreement.
Some highlights are:
- No new layoffs until January 1, 2022 unless a grant expires or there is a lack of work beyond the current pandemic impact.
- If Rutgers tries to lay someone off anyway, they are required to make the person whole, including salary and benefits, until January 1, 2022 or find them another position.
- The 3% across the board salary increase scheduled for July 1, 2020 will be effective July 1, 2021.
- The 2.5% across the board salary increase scheduled for July 1, 2021 will be effective March 1, 2022.
- Positions covered entirely by external grants will not be required to defer raises. Those positions will receive the July 1, 2020 3% raise retroactively and the 2.5% raise on July 1, 2021.
- If you were already laid off and recalled or rehired, your salary is increased when you return.
- The work share program overlaps with the federal American Rescue Plan Act which provides an extra $300 per week plus the weekly New Jersey unemployment benefit.
- 10 days furlough for 12-month employees, 8 days furlough for 10-month employees
- 1 furlough day per week (20%) for consecutive weeks
- Many scenarios where members will not be required to furlough
- No extension of current contract. The length of our current contract remains intact assuring all raises are paid within the life of the original contract
For questions about the agreement, attend an upcoming meeting.
The tentative agreement is subject to ratification. Only dues-paying members have a vote. Non-members must join first.
The message below was sent to members via email on April 1, 2021
Get ready for ratification
Electronic Voting will start on Friday, April 2, 2021. It will end at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Our electronic voting process is secure, and you can only vote once. Each voter has a unique “Voter ID” and “Voter Key”. When voting begins, you will be emailed your Voter ID, Voter Key and link to the ballot. All voting can be done through computer or mobile device. We will be using your Rutgers ([netid]@rutgers.edu) email account.
HOW TO PREPARE
Please review your settings at netid.rutgers.edu in advance. On the left-hand side of the webpage scroll down then click on “Manage Email Addresses” this will take you to the NetID Login-CAS, enter your netid and password, click on the “Login” button. On the top of the page there will be tabs click on “Manage Email addresses” review the email addresses in the various boxes that will appear. Explanations of the email address labels are on the left-hand side of the page. You will want to check with your Information Technology specialist in your department before changing any of these settings/email addresses. Scroll down to your “delivery email account”. For most of you, this will be an “[user]@connect.rutgers.edu” address. If so, attempt to log into your Connect inbox now if you do not already use it regularly (go to connect.rutgers.edu). URA-AFT only receives and uses the [netid]@rutgers.edu email. For most, this will show as the very first email address in the “personalized email addresses” box.
Correspondence about ratification will come from firstname.lastname@example.org. The link to your ballot will come from “Election Runner”. Be ready to look for emails that may have been diverted into a “Junk” or “SPAM” folder. Here are some tips for dealing with Junk and SPAM filters:
Did you click the “not junk” button in Outlook? That might fix it — when something gets accidentally marked as Junk, outlook remembers who sent it and always sends their email to Junk. But when you click “not junk” that tells Outlook to stop doing that. In order to click on “it’s not junk” you will need to click on the email when it opens, you will see in red “it’s not junk” in the bar at the top of the email.
You can also look in your outlook settings, in the “Junk Mail” section. There’s a list of “blocked senders” and “safe senders” — you can delete the URA-AFT email address from the “blocked” list (if URA-AFT is on it) and add URA-AFT to the “safe” list.
Please email email@example.com once you have verified that you did not actually receive the ballot.