As members like you reported, Rutgers has failed to fix all of the outstanding raise and retroactive issues for HPAE unit members as of today. You have good reason to be frustrated. Rutgers’ ongoing lack of respect for you, their disinterest in fixing the issue, and the outright wage theft that they are committing is shocking. We have communicated with many members individually, but we want to provide a summary of the actions we’ve taken as a union to push Rutgers to pay our membership every penny we are owed, as well as share additional steps you can take at this time to escalate the union’s fight for full pay for all.
On 8/5/23 we informed members that Rutgers had confirmed that they would be paying out 2022 retro pay on the 9/1/23 check (9/8/23 for per diems) and that the 2023 retro pay and raises would be processed on the 9/15/23 (9/22/23 check for per diems) paycheck. By 8/30/23, we started hearing from many of you that you didn’t see any retro and/or raises on your 9/1/23 paychecks, so we started individually gathering information from members who reached out. Since then, we have taken this issue extremely seriously and want you to know what we have done thus far to resolve it. While Rutgers violates our contract and the law – we are fighting back:
- We met with Rutgers administrators on 9/15/23 to demand answers and request important information that would clearly show what was owed to every single bargaining unit member of both HPAE locals and what had been paid out.
- We have followed up repeatedly for the information we need to understand the full impact of this failure to pay us correctly by Rutgers. Most of the information requested has NOT been provided by Rutgers thus far, which means that our employer is in violation of labor law. We repeated our request on these dates: 9/15, 9/22, 10/6, 10/9, 10/11, 10/18
- We created a reporting form for members to log any issues with their raises and retroactive pay. We sent the names of those who self-identified to Rutgers administration on 10/6 to get affected members paid and get direct responses for specific members (you can submit your survey if you have not already, the form is linked below). We will continue to submit responses as they come in.
- We filed a class action grievance for all outstanding raise and retroactive pay issues.
- We are in the process of filing an unfair labor practice charge with the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) against Rutgers for failing to provide the information we have requested multiple times.
But we are not stopping there, and we need your participation to make the next steps even stronger.
Take Action Today!
If you still have not received your correct raises and/or retroactive pay for fiscal years 2023 and 2024 (or you are not sure that you received your full pay) take the following actions to put additional pressure on Rutgers administration to PAY US NOW:
- Report in: If you haven’t already used HPAE’s reporting form for any outstanding errors with your raises and/or retroactive pay, please fill it out by clicking here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5089raises
- Answer the Call to Action and Email the HPAE Member Message to Rutgers Administration using the HPAE member unity message. We’ve been patient long enough. Join your coworkers as we tell Rutgers administrators DIRECTLY that we want our outstanding raise and/or retroactive pay issues paid immediately. The more who participate, the stronger we will be. This direct action is a safe, federally-protected activity. Send the text linked here by email today to decision makers at Rutgers to let them know that this is unacceptable. The draft also contains all emails for the targeted Rutgers administrators: Member Letter Regarding Ongoing Rutgers Raises and Retro Issue You can also send a message in solidarity if your pay is corrected but you want to support those still without full pay.
- File a Wage Complaint for Wage Theft. If your raise and/or retro is not received by the 10/27/23 check (11/3/23 for per diem employees), file a wage complaint with the New Jersey Department of Labor. This is another safe action that increases the consequences for Rutgers to continue withholding our pay. You can find the link to file a complaint and detailed instructions on how to file by clicking here: NJ DOL Wage Complaint instructions for Rutgers Raise and Retro Pay.docx
As your elected leader working with our staff representatives, we have done everything we possibly can to resolve this issue, but it has not been enough. Our strength as a Union comes from our power in numbers and our unity. We need everyone to continue to be a part of the fight to force Rutgers to fix our raises and retro pay. Take action now!
Dr. Sabrina Brown Oliver, HPAE Local 5089 Vice President