Bargaining Update for Rutgers University: Wages
March 2, 2023, and we still do not have a contract.
Takeaway: While this small movement shows that workers coming together to put pressure on the University does make a difference, it also shows that we will need to do much more to get the contract we all deserve. The only way we will be able to win is through a united fight and by showing up in numbers to make life difficult for the University until they do right by our membership. .
HPAE Local 5094 was scheduled for a negotiations session on March 2, 2023. The University reached out to the Coalition of Rutgers Unions (CRU) the day before the session and requested a Coalition of Rutgers Unions joint table to present a counter wage offer in lieu of an individual Local 5094 negotiations session. All unions were told to expect a “significant” wage counter proposal in an effort to settle our outstanding contracts.
Both Locals, 5089 and 5094, attended this session in solidarity with our coalition family, anticipating movement from this University following our day of action at the Board of Governors in Newark. The University was 40 minutes late to the session and their proposal was insignificant, insulting, and showed no true intention of settling a contract in a quick and efficient manner.
The University continues to show its disrespect for our staff that have worked through the pandemic and continue to feel the effects of the increase in health insurance payments as well as inflation. Today we, along with our CRU family, let the University know that disrespect will not be tolerated. We will return to the coalition table to negotiate wage increases on March 13th.
The University proposed the following items for staff unions in the session:
- No declaration of a Fiscal Emergency in the years 2023 and 2024 but a refusal to remove the language from the contract.
- Year 1 – Retro to October 1, 2022, 3% across the board increase.
a. 1% lump-sum not included in the base salary, for those employed for one year as of June 2022 paid in June 2023
- Year 2 – Effective October 1, 2023, 2.75% across the board increase.
- Year 3 – Effective October 1, 2024, 2.5% across the board increase.
- Year 4 – Effective October 1, 2025, 2.5% across the board increase.
- This proposal was only offered as a package including all items, and that accepting it would require withdrawing all other outstanding proposals on any subject (e.g. tuition remission, parking, vacation accruals).
While this small movement shows that workers coming together to put pressure on the University does make a difference, it also shows that we will need to do much more to get the contract we all deserve. The only way we will be able to win is through a united fight and by showing up in numbers to make life difficult for the University until they do right by our membership.
The current proposal does not take into consideration step movements for 5094, the experience-based steps of the 5089 bargaining unit for the Staff Nurses and Nurse Clinicians, contract proposals for automatic step movements for the nurses, or our current 5089 proposal for APNs and Research Nurse Clinicians. The proposal does not even respond to the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist wage proposal. In 2020, when the inflation rate was 1.4 %, we may have considered their offer. But in 2021 inflation was 7%, in 2022 it was 6.5%, and in 2023 it’s 6.4%. We cannot accept an offer that leaves our families behind.
Our two locals will also be negotiating this month for Health and Safety and Remote Work at coalition bargaining tables. We will continue to keep you updated as those negotiations and will need your participation away from the table to make real progress.
HPAE 5094 Negotiations Committee – Justin O’Hea, Ryan Novosielski, Ana Delgado, Fatima Meadows, Jennifer Hunt, Kerry Butch, Christina Rozario, Dana LaClair, Charles Jackson, Saleena Ghanny, Susan Fenker, Robin Covington, and Mayra Barreto
HPAE 5089 Negotiations Committee – Sabrina Brown-Oliver, Jennifer Lerner, Dawn Yuhas, Khooshbu Patel, Arlene Cruz, Yuk Wong, Marilyn Mundy, Sri Kota, Joe Bentivegna, Marsha Lauriano, Francine Pasch, Tara Andino, Joan Santner, Donna Nelson-Henry, Susan Bauer