Rutgers 5089 Negotiations Update, June 30, 2022 - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Rutgers 5089 Negotiations Update, June 30, 2022

June 30, 2022 and we still do not have a contract

HPAE local 5089 met on 6/30/22 for our fifth session of negotiations with Rutgers University. Our contract is set to expire July 1, 2022. As of July 1, 2022, our Staff Nurses and Nurse Clinicians will officially fall behind on our experience-based scales. This means that incumbent nurses will be paid less than new hires moving forward until our contract is settled. This is in line with management’s past behavior of completely ignoring deadlines.

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 the link to sign the petition and show solidarity with your negotiations team.

Despite our best efforts, the University continues to delay productive negotiations at every session we have scheduled. At today’s session, the University did not have any additional responses to the reserved proposals and only presented one proposal on the management side. We presented a proposal on the Preservation of Work which directly speaks to the affiliation between Rutgers and RWJBH. We also presented a wage proposal for Nurse Clinicians/Research Nurse Clinicians to move to one experience-based scale. We presented a Jury Duty proposal seeking to guarantee paid time for jury duty for our nurses. Finally, we presented a Health and Safety proposal to address outstanding issues regarding building safety, pandemic preparedness, general building safety, and to be a decision-making part of committees to address health and safety in the future.

The University continues to move backwards. Their presentation for their proposal on the Grievance process, seeks to strip our membership of contract rights that have been held for decades. The University proposes to eliminate your contract rights to a union representative to only what the law requires. Currently you are protected under the contract to have a union representative in the investigation of a grievance (protected by law), when being issued a discipline, and the University is obligated to inform you of your rights to have a rep there.

What is their reason for this? The University claims that HPAE files too many grievances for the University’s violation of this contract provision. The University’s solution for not following the contract is to eliminate the language and to strip you of your rights. We find that to be completely unacceptable.

In addition, the University’s proposal seeks to eliminate your right to mediate and resolve disciplinary matters directly with your department and departmental supervisor. The University proposes to eliminate the contract language which allows you and your representative to informally discuss grievances. Further, the University seeks to eliminate the first step of the grievance process which is held directly with the department, leaving the only option to file directly with the Office of Labor Relations. We reminded the University the Office of Labor Relations continues to be backlogged with grievances despite numerous meetings for settlements that have resulted in very few cases to be resolved.

Our next virtual session is scheduled for July 14 at 10am. We encourage everyone to attend the session for the first half hour to show the University we stand together in solidarity with the bargaining team and we will not accept falling behind on our Nurse Clinician and Staff Nurse experience scales. We are meeting as a caucus prior to the session at 9:30am and are inviting all members in good standing to attend. The time commitment would be from 9:30-10:30. 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.

In solidarity,

HPAE 5089 Negotiations Committee – Sabrina Brown-Oliver, Jennifer Lerner, Josephine Machado, Dawn Yuhas, Khooshbu Patel, Arlene Cruz, Yuk Wong, Marilyn Mundy, Sri Kota, Joe Bentivegna, Marsha Lauriano, Lucia Otti, Francine Pasch, Tara Andino, Joan Santner, Donna Nelson-Henry, Susan Bauer