HPAE Local 5094 met on 5/17/22 for our second session of negotiations with Rutgers University.
Earlier last week the University attempted to propose a one-year contract extension to the Coalition of Rutgers Unions. We attempted to negotiate that extension seven months ago in November, but the University did not respond to our counter proposals until last week. We informed them as a coalition that their proposal was unacceptable, and we were not interested in a one-year extension less than two months until the expiration of the contract.
We presented Rutgers with a full package of proposals. A summary of the package we proposed is below:
- Wages: 6.5% each year, step each year of the agreement, COLA increase if inflation continues
- Tuition remission/Continuing Education: online/UMDNJ legacy classes, prorated part time benefits. Specific fund for Continuing Education credits.
- Seniority/Layoff Rights: expanded recall period, expanded notice, increased access to vacant positions
- Reclassification/Salary adjustment/Equity Review: allow grievance rights if we disagree with Compensation Services
- Holiday schedule: Add Juneteenth and Election Day
- Parking: Delete entire section
- Expanding our negotiations unit: We proposed that our union now include Per diem employees
- Compensation time/On Call benefits: hour for hour comp time. Separately: on call days worked count as comp time, regardless if called in to work
- Grievance Process: Speed up process for employees to get response on grievances
- Vacation time accruals: increase vacation time for employees
- FXB/CHP regions and home office placement: in the event of layoff or transfer, we proposed regional movement
- Cell phone allowance: employees working from home using their personal cell phone should receive $100 per month
- Successorship/Subcontracting: Rutgers shall not subcontract any part of their operations
- Vision care: Add dependents and improve monetary benefit to $200
We reserved several proposals at this time. We informed Rutgers we would be presenting new language for State of Emergency and expanding the Job Series. In addition, we also stated that we will be participating in coalition bargaining with the other Rutgers unions to address: Health and Safety, Telecommuting, Health Insurance, and Job Security.
The University asked some questions about proposals as we reviewed them but did not respond to any proposal during the session. Despite having over an hour left in our bargaining session, Rutgers did not return to negotiations during the rest of the session. We are 44 days from our contract expiration and the University still has not provided responses to our information request nor provided more than one date to return to the table. At the last minute they offered one date – June 7th from 1 pm to 5 pm.
We will continue to push for dates to continue bargaining with the University.
We will continue to provide regular updates to the membership following each session to provide transparent information to the general membership regarding the status of each session and our progress at the table.
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HPAE 5094 Negotiations Committee
Justin O’Hea, Ryan Novosielski, Ana Delgado, Philip Wilson, Fatima Meadows, Jennifer Hunt, Kerry Butch, Christina Rozario, Dana LaClair, Eric Jackson, Saleena Ghanny, Susan Fenker, Robin Covington, Isabel Arroyo, and Mayra Barreto