By combining Rutgers AAUP-BHSNJ and Rutgers AAUP-AFT contracts, we can do the following:
→ Greater Bargaining Power
Combining units would give both AAUP-BHSNJ and AAUP-AFT more bargaining power and produce more leverage at the negotiating table when fighting for equal pay for equal work, better job security, and a healthier workplace.
Combining units would help close the gaps in a number of areas where AAUP-BHSNJ members are treated like second-class citizens – like parental leave, length of NTT appointments, detenuring procedure, parking, and sabbaticals.
Combining units would allow us to better fight for for competitive clinical compensation.
→ Achieving a Timely Contract
Combining units would make it less likely that contract negotiations extend months or years beyond expiration. This means you get raises on time, not retroactively a year or two later.
→ Reducing Time and Cost of Bargaining while Preserving Unique Differences
Most articles in both the AAUP-AFT and AAUP-BHSNJ contracts have identical language or are otherwise very similar. Joint bargaining would help cut down on the time and legal costs associated with bargaining. Our last contract settled in November 2020, took 63 sessions to negotiate and was two and half years over due. Certain AAUP-BHSNJ contract articles like “Compensation” have additional language on an issue that is unique to AAUP-BHSNJ, like clinical compensation. A new combined contract, would take the AAUP-AFT agreement and would add the special clinical and research compensation provisions to the AAUP-AFT base pay and out-of-cycle provisions. It would also seek to maintain the workload articles at the School of Health Professions and School of Nursing.
→ Stopping RBHS Union-Busting with RWJ Barnabas Hires
Currently, Rutgers is using the Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health System to hire full-time, full-title faculty at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. By using a private health system for this purpose, it is attempting to create a marginalized class without access to the protections of a union contract or the same rights and privileges as Rutgers faculty. In order to protect these faculty and an erosion of AAUP-BHSNJ membership, a strong message needs to be sent that union-busting will not be tolerated. AAUP-AFT will assist AAUP-BHSNJ in these efforts.
→ Strengthening Community Coalitions and Government Relations Efforts
Alignment would strengthen ties to the Newark and New Brunswick communities, thereby helping develop a growing influence in the political arena. In recent years, AAUP-BHSNJ has hired a lobbyist and has been an active with NJ-AFL-CIO efforts to pass the Workplace Democracy Enhancement Act and the Responsible Collective Negotiations Act, which greatly modernized public sector labor relations in New Jersey. It has pushed for legislation that helped healthcare workers during the pandemic. Finally, we have been active participant in coalitions seeking to strengthen the community’s role in the medical schools and in University Hospital-Newark. This would be enhanced by AAUP-AFT’s extensive and long-standing connections within Newark and New Brunswick.