On Friday of last week your Union representatives met with Rutgers administration regarding their payroll migration process. While we have several concerns surrounding this transition, the most pressing of these is what we will call the “hold back” week. Right now (under the old UMDNJ system) when you get a paycheck, it is for the two weeks PRIOR to when you receive your check. The Rutgers system is different. Under their system, when you get a check it is for the week you get the check and the previous week. That leaves one week unaccounted for when the transition occurs (the “hold back” week).
We originally heard that Rutgers intended to put that “hold back” week they owe all of you in the “cloud”. In other words, they would hold onto that week until you separate your employment with Rutgers. The problem for them is that this is illegal under State law. They cannot indefinitely hold onto money you have already earned.
When we met with them, we discussed the legal ramifications of this plan, as well as ways to get our members their money without resorting to drawn out litigation. It now seems they understand that their plan is not feasible and are looking to work something out. We’re waiting to work out the details of this, so stay tuned.
There are other pieces to this puzzle as well. When we negotiated our most recent MOA, we did agree on moving to an integrated payroll system. Part of this is moving from a fixed daily rate of pay (based always on 260 work days per year) to a daily rate of pay that changes slightly depending on how many actual work days there are in a calendar year. This year, for example, there are 261 work days. This change will be effective in your 10/21 paycheck. That means that come 10/21, your daily rate might be slightly lower.
There was also discussion about the raises for Local 5135 (UCHC RN’s). Rutgers informed us several weeks back that the raises slated for 10/1/16 might have to be delayed due to this payroll integration process. Originally, they were telling us that our members in that local may not see their raises until early next year. We pushed back hard. Now Rutgers has moved that date up and is targeting the 11/18 payroll. It was made clear that full retro pay back to 10/1 will be given in that paycheck. If we do not see those raises in that paycheck we will file charges with PERC and seek both the retro as well as interest on the amounts owed.
Finally, an additional change within our contract is the change from a Sunday to Saturday workweek to the Rutgers Saturday to Friday workweek. Management is attempting to implement a schedule change for all nursing staff in 24 hour programs. Based on the new workweek, this schedule change would result in a seven day stretch without overtime. Rutgers has stated if schedules remain the same, it would result in a 48/32 split in the workweek resulting in overtime every other week.
We have presented several options to management that would prevent a seven day stretch and prevent regular overtime. These options included: differentiating between a pay period and the workweek (all schedules can remain the same), keeping a Sunday through Saturday workweek for the 24 hour nursing programs, and creating a schedule with 10 hour shifts. We expect to hear back shortly on what option might be most acceptable.
We have been informed that while some departments have begun to talk about the possible changes to the schedule, no schedules should be posted that contain a seven day stretch. If you have been given a posted schedule with a seven day stretch, please contact your local representative as soon as possible.
Tom Murphy, Co-President, Local 5094
Alexis Rean-Walker, Co-President, Local 5094
Sabrina Brown-Oliver, President, Local 5135
Ann Marie Lozano, Vice-President, Local 5089