To President Holloway:
Below you will find the text of a petition asking you to intercede and make sure our raises are paid on time. Attached are the names of over 1,200 petition signers from among our university’s faculty, staff, and graduate workers.
As the petition states, we were notified by your Senior Vice President for Human Resources and Organizational Effectiveness, Vivian Fernández, that our raises—deferred last year because of the fiscal emergency declaration and due to be implemented July 1 under the terms of our Memorandum of Agreement—won’t show up in our paychecks until some time in August.
This is unacceptable. Every year, SVP Fernández and University Human Resources are responsible for processing salary increases by the start of the new fiscal year. The excuse for a delay this year is that UHR has been too busy with the work-sharing program for faculty and staff. As you know, faculty, staff, and grad workers have been busy, too—not only with completing another grueling semester affected by the pandemic but with the burden that work-sharing places on us to navigate the chaotic New Jersey Department of Labor system.
Our health care workers have continued to see patients and clients. Faculty and staff didn’t unilaterally decide to delay our end-of-semester deadlines by a month and a half because we were busy. Your Senior Vice President should follow their example.
As union leaders, we’ve done far more than our fair share of work supporting UHR in implementing this program, so SVP Fernández’s excuse rings hollow. And as you know, we attempted to negotiate work-sharing months earlier, when there would have been no problem with paying us our raises.
And now we discover that emails to SVP Fernández get an auto-response that she is on vacation. One day she tells us that her department won’t be able to accomplish its annual routine of processing our raises for a month and a half; the next she goes on vacation. We hope you’ll understand how insulting this feels. There’s no reason the raises can’t still be implemented on time, or at least much sooner than the August dates that SVP Fernandez set unilaterally.
We are calling on you to assure us that the terms of the Fiscal Emergency Memorandum of Agreement will be honored. We negotiated with your administration in good faith and accepted a work-sharing program that entailed significant personal sacrifice from our faculty and staff. We expect your administration to hold up its end of the bargain and pay our raises on time.
The text of our petition is included below.
Rebecca Givan, President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT
Christine O’Connell, President, Union of Rutgers Administrators-AFT, Local 1766
Ryan Novosielski, Co-President, HPAE Local 5094
Justin O’Hea, Co-President, HPAE Local 5094
Sabrina Brown-Oliver, Vice President, HPAE Local 5089
Kathleen Hernandez, Executive Vice President, CWA Local 1031
Sara Holden, Lead NY/NJ Organizer, CIR/SEIU
Pay Our Raises on Time!
To: President Jonathan Holloway
Over 10,000 employees of Rutgers University ratified an agreement in April with the understanding that we would receive our deferred raises starting on July 1, 2021. Despite signing on to this agreement, Senior Vice President for Human Resources & Organizational Effectiveness Vivian Fernández and University Human Resources are claiming that they are unable to process these contractual pay increases on time on July 9, and that employees will have to wait until August before they see their raises.
We demand that Senior Vice President Fernández ensures that these raises are paid with the July 9th paychecks. We have participated in the work-sharing program, and many of us are still awaiting full payment from the state Department of Labor. We agreed to this program in good faith, and we demand that Rutgers keep its side of the agreement.
On top of all this, we are expected to report to offices and pay for parking starting in July.
If you want us to return to campus and pay for parking in July, then you need to pay our raises on time. We’ve been doing our job. Why won’t Vivian Fernández do hers? Pay our raises on time!