HPAE local 5094 met on 6/21/22 for our fourth session of negotiations with Rutgers University. Our contract is set to expire July 1, 2022.
The show of solidarity today in our session was a boost for our negotiations team. We had over 20 members come to support the negotiations team in our session and show Rutgers that we are committed to getting a new contract.
We started the negotiations session pushing the University on our outstanding contract issues. The University reserved on 14 of our initial contract proposals in their responses from last week. We pressed the University to provide responses to those proposals today. The University stated they continue to work on responses but had none today. We reminded them that there are 9 days remaining until the contract expires. Finally, the University attempted to say that they will not provide responses to our proposals until we have presented everything, and the University would respond in one whole package response.
We pressed the University on the contract proposals that the University responded that they wanted keep the current contract language. We ran down the list of all those proposals including but not limited to: reclassifications, promotions/transfers, evaluations, comp time, on call, continuing education, tuition remission, parking, and joint committees. The University attempted to deflect these issues as outstanding concerns for the union, even going as far at one point to say they believe the language works for the University and our HPAE negotiations unit employees. We disagree.
The University argued the issues outlined above are not a concern to the University and do not encompass the entire University and are a fraction of the employees. Additionally, Abbe Kanan went on to say “we do a good job hiring internally” when discussing internal promotions and transfers throughout the University. We disagree. Kanan went on to state the Rutgers is “labor friendly: and in a self-congratulatory fashion stated that he was proud of the teamwork that Rutgers Labor Relations had shown with labor during the pandemic, and that they should be “commended” for their efforts.
At our last session, we verbally supplied the University with a 15 point information request to support our contract proposals. Today we followed up with the University and asked what information would be provided in today’s session. The University balked stating the last session was six days ago and there was a holiday when everyone was off from work. Further, the University stated that the written follow up to the request was sent today and the University stated they would be working on the information based on the written request.
Our next virtual session is scheduled for June 28 at 1pm. We are meeting as a caucus prior to the session at 12:30pm and are inviting all members in good standing to attend. Please register for the pre-meeting at this link:
You should not be on work time during your attendance at the session. We are asking for a commitment of 1 hour to show Rutgers we stand behind our committee in solidarity. You can use either your personal or Rutgers device to log into the sessions.
Our Contract Action team has developed a petition to show support to the negotiations team and to compel Rutgers to come to the table for constructive negotiations that will result in a new contract. Please click on the link below to sign the petition and show solidarity with your negotiations team.
HPAE 5094 Negotiations Committee – Justin O’Hea, Ryan Novosielski, Ana Delgado, Philip Wilson, Fatima Meadows, Jennifer Hunt, Kerry Butch, Christina Rozario, Dana LaClair, Charles Jackson, Saleena Ghanny, Susan Fenker, Robin Covington, Isabel Arroyo, and Mayra Barreto