Members Overwhelmingly Vote To Approve Fiscal Emergency Tentative Agreement
The results are in! Members of HPAE Locals 5094 and 5089 have voted overwhelmingly to approve our tentative settlement agreement regarding the fiscal emergency declared by management last spring.
This is a strong step forward for our union, and a first-ever agreement negotiated together with our wider Coalition of Rutgers Unions family. A review of the details of the agreement can be found below. While this agreement does not provide everything we wanted, nor everything we deserve, it is a significant step forward from any of the fiscal emergency settlements that came before it, provides our salary increases sooner than the state worker agreements that it was based on, and is a great starting point for our contract negotiations with Rutgers next year, as well as future Coalition bargaining. It also demonstrates that all of our unions are more powerful together than they would be apart.
The agreement summary can be accessed here. The full settlement agreement document can be accessed here.
Raises and Fiscal Emergency
- Our July 1, 2020, raises will be paid on July 1, 2021. The raise will not be retroactive. We will receive a 0.5% increase on July 1, 2021, and a 2.5% on March 1, 2022.
- In addition, For those negotiations unit employees entitled to a step movement as of July 1, 2020, the step will be deferred to July 1, 2021. Negotiations unit employees shall be moved to the appropriate step as of July 1, 2021. Employees on step 20 (the top step) will receive a lump-sum payment (not to be added to the base salary), pro-rated for part-time employees.
- NOTE: There are separate agreements for certain work areas that have external funding and contracts, such as University Correctional Health Care; these agreements will be posted on our website as they become available.
- The university withdraws its June 2020 declaration of a fiscal emergency. It will not be allowed to declare another fiscal emergency during this fiscal year and the next one, ending June 30, 2022.
- The University agrees that there will be no layoffs through January 1, 2022, except for those due to termination/cessation of grants that fund employees
- We will participate in a shared work program for 10 consecutive weeks between now and July 31, 2021, except where it is not feasible. Participating employees will be furloughed 1 day per week and are eligible for enhanced partial unemployment. (Those on a visa status or paid leave will not be required to participate. Employees previously laid off for at least 10 days on or after June 1, 2020 shall not be required to participate). Many of the implementation details are still in discussion. We will provide more information as we know it.
Together, we are our union, and we look forward to building on this agreement and fighting together with you to make Rutgers a better place to work.
Finally, We have negotiated an optional lower cost health care plan – check your email in coming weeks for more details. HPAE members, along with other Coalition Unions, have negotiated an optional health plan for members, which offers a real cost savings. You can choose to switch to this optional new plan during a special open enrollment period, which runs from May 3-May 14, 2021. The plan is effective July 1, 2021. Participants in the new plan will no longer pay rates based on a percent of premium, and instead will pay a percent of salary. Switching to this plan can save up to $1,500 in payroll deductions, particularly if you have family coverage. If you want to stay in your current plan, then there is nothing for you to do during this special open enrollment.
We will hold joint information sessions with the State’s Division of Pensions and Benefits and Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield on the following dates:
- Monday, May 3: 2p-4p
- Wednesday, May 5: 10a-12p
- Tuesday, May 11: 2p-4p
- Thursday, May 13: 10a-12p
Ryan Novosielski, Co-President, HPAE Local 5094
Justin O’Hea, Co-President, HPAE Local 5094