Summary of the Tentative Agreement between HPAE 5135 and Rutgers University

You can download a summary of the agreement here.

The signed MOA can be found here.

Click here to read the Rutgers Tuition Remission Policy (60.2.1) – applicable sections: B, C and D.

Click here for contract ratification voting instructions

With your support, your Bargaining Team has worked hard for the past year to bargain a Tentative Agreement with Rutgers University for UCHC Medical Health Registered Nurses. This is our first contract since the breakup of UMDNJ and we were able to protect the standards we’ve already achieved and made a number of significant improvements. Your Bargaining Team strongly recommends that you vote YES to ratify our new contract.

  1. Wages: We were able to maintain our experience-based scale despite management’s initial proposal that would have frozen the steps. We are one of the only unions at the University that has an experience based scale and we fought hard to protect it.
    1. October 2014(retro): Staff Nurses and ICNs hired prior to Oct. 1, 2014 will move one step*. In addition to the step move, all steps will be increased by 1%. Full-time nurses that were on Step 25 as of Oct. 2014 will receive a $1,000 lump sum payment. Part-time staff nurses that were on Step 25 as of Oct. 2014 will receive the lump-sum payment pro-rated based on FTE.

      Advanced Practice Nurses:2% across the board increase.

    2. October 2015(retro): Staff Nurses and ICNs hired prior to Oct. 1, 2015 will move one step*. In addition to the step move, all steps will be increased by 1%. Full-time nurses that were on Step 25 as of Oct. 2015 will receive a $1,000 lump sum payment. Part-time staff nurses that were on Step 25 as of Oct. 2015 will receive the lump-sum payment pro-rated based on FTE.

      Advanced Practice Nurses:2% across the board increase.

    3. October 2016: Staff Nurses and ICNs hired prior to Oct. 1, 2016 will move one step*. In addition to the step move, all steps will be increased by 1%. Full-time nurses that were on Step 25 as of Oct. 2016 will receive a $1,000 lump sum payment. Part-time staff nurses that were on Step 25 as of Oct. 2016 will receive the lump-sum payment pro-rated based on FTE.

      Advanced Practice Nurses:2% across the board increase.

    4. October 2017: Staff Nurses and ICNs hired prior to Oct. 1, 2017 will move one step*. In addition to the step move, all steps will be increased by 1.25%. Full-time nurses that were on Step 25 as of Oct. 2017 will receive a $1,000 lump sum payment. Part-time staff nurses that were on Step 25 as of Oct. 2017 will receive the lump-sum payment pro-rated based on FTE.

      Advanced Practice Nurses:2% across the board increase.

    5. RH Scale: You may apply at any time to be moved to the RB scale and become eligible for future increases to the RB Scale, otherwise: 1. Effective retroactive to October 2014, the RH scale will increase by 1%; 2. Effective retroactive to October 2015, the RH scale will increase by 1%; 3. Effective October 2016, the RH scale will increase by 1%; and 4. Effective October 2017, the RH scale will increase by 1.25%. Because management wants to phase this scale out, their initial position was no increases at all.
    6. Per Diem: When we began negotiations, management did not want to increase the per diem rate. This is the first increase to the rate in six years. Effective within 30 days of ratification, the rate for per diem staff nurses will increase 2% from $37.50 to $38.25. Effective October 2016, the rate will increase another 1% to $38.63. Effective October 2017, the rate will increase 1.25% to $39.11.
  2. Term of contract: Retroactive to October 1, 2014 and expires June 30, 2018.
  3. Tuition: Dependent children of full-time employees are eligible for tuition remission effective Spring 2016 in accordance with the Rutgers policy. Tuition refund for employees remains the same.
  4. Less-Than-20 Part-Time (‘.3’) Staff Nurses: For the first time, less-than-20 hour part-time (‘.3) staff nurses are part of the union and covered by the contract. Less-than-20 hour part-time nurses are eligible for all raises to their respective wage scale and will be credited experience like other part-time staff nurses (two part-time years = one year). Discipline may only be for ‘just cause’ and may be appealed through a grievance and binding arbitration procedure. Like per diem staff nurses, ‘.3s’ do not accrue benefit time, however they now have some seniority and layoff protections. Other current conditions of employment cannot be changed unilaterally and now must be negotiated. Throughout, most of the negotiations, management insisted on a separate contract for the .3 nurses .
    Their inclusion now is a big victory for us.
  5. Holidays: You will now have 17 holidays and leave days per year – up from the current fifteen:(8) Holidays, (2) Personal Days, (4) Mandatory Leave Days (see 6 below), and (3) Administrative Leave Days. The new holiday schedule shall exclude Good Friday.
  6. Transition to new Holiday schedule: You will have until June 30, 2016 to use your float holidays. You will also get an additional six leave days: (2) Personal Days and (4) Mandatory Leave Days to be used by June 30, 2016. Beginning July 1, 2016, your holiday and leave allotment will be in accordance with the new calendar.
  7. Mandatory Leave Days: In November of each year, you will receive four (4) Mandatory Leave Days. These days are to be used during the “shut-down” period (Christmas to New Years) if your department closes. If it does not, then you may use them when you wish. (In 2015, the days will be credited after ratification).
  8. Holiday Designation: Employees will no longer be penalized for calling out within 48 hours of a holiday. The new time period will be 24 hours before or after the holiday.
  9. Fiscal Emergencies: In the event Rutgers claims a fiscal emergency (using the ‘subject to’ state appropriations language in our contract) and tries to freeze wages, they must first provide advance notice to the union, relevant financial information and the opportunity to renegotiate. If that fails, the union can file for arbitration and a third party (arbitrator) shall decide if Rutgers is unable to pay the wage increases
  10. Health Insurance: During the term of the contract, if legislation is passed that increases your health care contribution rates, Rutgers will have to absorb the cost.
  11. Joining of HPAE UCHC bargaining units: As part of the effort to include Less-Than-20 Hour Part-Time nurses and to increase our bargaining power, we’ve agreed to create one contract for all HPAE nurses in the prisons, inclusive of: Mental Health Staff Nurses and APNs; Medical Health Staff Nurses and APNs; Mental Health Less-Than-20 Hour Part-Time Staff Nurses; and Medical Health Less-Than-20 Hour Part-Time Staff Nurses. All new UCHC Staff Nurses will be hired on the RB scale. The agreement ensures no employee will have their wage, salary, benefits or seniority adversely impacted in the process and enables us to negotiate together in the future. This agreement is also subject to ratification by HPAE Local 5089 at Rutgers.
  12. Joint bargaining: Side letter acknowledging the Union and University may chose to engage in joint bargaining with other HPAE unions at the University for future contracts.
  13. Seniority: Seniority for employees hired prior to July 1, 2013 will remain their UMDNJ date of hire.
  14. Layoff and bumping: In the event of a layoff, you will now be able to have a Union Representative present when discussing vacancies and bumping opportunities with the University. Bumping is now limited to HPAE titles only, however, no one from another Union can bump you either (e.g., supervisors attempting to come back into HPAE during a layoff).
  15. Alternate work schedules: You can now request a change in your schedule to accommodate taking credit carrying courses during the work day.
  16. Pre-termination hearing: Prior to being terminated our members have the right to a meeting where they will be presented with the charges and evidence against them. They may then present any counter evidence/arguments that might change the outcome of the discipline.
  17. Staffing: Staffing concerns will be placed on the agenda at the quarterly Labor-Management Committee meetings where the University will provide information on daily staffing levels.
  18. Uniform Allowance: Rates remain the same however, we will begin to receive the allowance earlier, starting in July of 2016 instead of September.
  19. Non-hostile work environment: Members should be afforded a working environment characterized by mutual respect and dignity. Verbal harassment is unacceptable, and can be reported to the Office of Employment Equity and/or addressed in a conference with Labor Relations.
  20. Non-discrimination: Updated to include religion, gender identity and expression, pregnancy, physical and mental disability, civil union or domestic partnerships, sexual orientation, genetic information and military or veteran status.
  21. DOC/JJC Banning: Rutgers will now be required to provide any and all available information surrounding banning of employees to the Union.
  22. Direct Deposit: Rutgers will now change over to exclusive direct deposit for paychecks. Paper payroll checks are no longer an option.
  23. Sick Leave: We are changing over from UMDNJ Staff Leave Donation program to the Rutgers Compassionate Leave Bank. Advancing yourself sick time is no longer an option.
  24. Daily rate of pay: The daily rate of pay will be based on actual work days in a year. Date TBD.
  25. Pay period: The pay period will be changed to Saturday (12:00 am) to Friday (11:59pm). Date TBD.
  26. Fiscal Year: We will move to Rutgers’ fiscal year (July 1 – June 30).
  27. Attendance Control Policy: This policy is to be eliminated. Certain disciplines may be expunged.
  28. Dues and Agency Fee: Process for the University and Union to remunerate each other for mistakes in transmission of Dues or Agency Fee. If you transfer between HPAE bargaining units, your union status will now remain unaffected.
  29. Information and data: Clarifies information that HPAE is entitled to receive with the dues files Rutgers sends and the seniority lists.
  30. Housekeeping: There were a number of housekeeping agreements to clean up the contract where needed, including a global name change from UMDNJ to Rutgers.

*Eligibility for a step move is based on your years of accrued experience at the time of each increase as defined by the current guidelines in Article 16 of the contract. Part-time staff nurses must work two full years in order to receive one step.