By Jillian Bogle, Staff Associate, Contract Enforcement/Grievance, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
This session was focused on the full-time bargaining unit. We met with management for approximately five hours, much of which was spent in caucus. The following is a brief overview of the items discussed:
The union reviewed the university’s most recent counter related to Infosilem. Although the parties have come closer to reaching agreement, management continues to reject language that allows instructors to input availability. They favor a system that would require a formal leave process for any time block restrictions, overburdening chairs with cumbersome procedures for something as simple as needing to block off the school pickup time for their kids.
The union continued to push for language to boost transparency at Board of Governor meetings to be able to publicly address the governing board. As it stands now, the BoG has limited public comments to only certain agenda items. As both a university and public institution, our bargaining team posed the question to management as to why they wouldn’t welcome healthy debate and transparency within their decision-making body? Management was evasive and noncommittal on this, and we hope they’ll come to welcome the opportunity for transparency as put forward in our proposal.
We previously presented a provision to allow union staff limited keycard access to Rutgers buildings, so we can effectively meet with and represent our members. At Tuesday’s session, the struggle of not having this ability was presented by our bargaining team, and the university was not receptive.
The university rejected language requiring that job candidates be informed of the union website and email prior to formally being hired. We continue to work with the university to find language to strengthen union involvement with the onboarding process.
The parties came closer to agreement on course-release language.
The above is a report from a bargaining session for our next contract. After each session, our union will provide an update, written by a rotating cast of member-observers who are sitting in on negotiations. Click here for a full archive of Bargaining Updates.