AAUP-AFT is a member of the Time to Care Coalition, working on Earned Sick Days, Paid Family Leave, and Minimum Wage Issues: http://www.njtimetocare.com/
Paid Family and Medical Leave Promotes Economic Security, A Center for American Progress Report, April 2012
How to Change Workplace Culture on Parenting
RU Committee Report on Work and Family Issues, 2009
Paid Family Leave Insurance
Information about the Liaison for Work and Family Issues
Contract Language and Helpful Guides: Family Leaves and Nondiscrimination
Relevant State and Federal Laws
University-wide Committee on Work and Family Issues
Report: Unions Mean Upward Mobility for Women
Background: Work and Family Issues in the Academic Workplace
Liaison for Work and Family Issues
Lisa Bonick has been jointly appointed to be the Liaison for Work and Family Issues. She may be contacted by phone at 848-932-7174 or via email at email@example.com. The union continues as a resource on work and family issues, especially regarding the provisions we worked to negotiate in our collective bargaining agreement. Please contact the Rutgers AAUP-AFT office at 732-964-1000 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Liaison role is designed to assist employees in the full-time faculty and TA/GA bargaining unit know what the benefits are, whom to inform and how to do it. The Liaison will be committed to handling your questions with confidentiality.
Click here to see the 2007 joint labor-management email announcement of the first Liaison for Work and Family Issues, Dr. Catherine N. Duckett.
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Contract Language: Article XVI & Article IV
Click here for Article XVI, which covers the three forms of family leave, as a stand-alone excerpt of the contract.
Click here for a copy of the full contract, of which Article XVI begins on page 57.
Click for Article IV, which contains non-discrimination language that includes many provisions that relate to work-family issues.
Other Legal Protections
Protection against discrimination also exists in USA law outside the union contract. Read the FAQ's on Discrimination and the Law
Guide to Work and Family Benefits
Guidelines for Teaching and Graduate Assistants on family leave benefits related to pregnancy and parental leave prepared especially for the situation of graduate student employees at Rutgers University. Last updated June 2012
Rutgers AAUP-AFT provides this document as a set of guidelines for the implementation of benefits for recuperative (up to 6 weeks paid) and parental leave (up to 8 weeks paid) with a specific focus on Teaching and Graduate Assistants.
Librarians and Extension Faculty Also Have Right to Parental Leave
In the 2011-2014 settlement (Memorandum of Agreement), Librarians and Extension Faculty won an explicit right to access the paid parental leave benefit (i.e., the right to request up to 8 weeks paid release time, in addition to the 6 weeks of paid recuperative leave for the birth mother). The CNA states that Librarians and Extenion Faculty may be released from their "assigned duties" as well as committee service obligations. Previously the language had referred only to release from "classroom teaching." The 8-weeks paid parental leave is a benefit that any parent may request; it is not restricted to the birth mother.
Cathy Stanford, staff representative for the union, is also available to assist: email@example.com or 732-964-1000, ext. 10.
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Relevant Federal and State Laws
The Executive Council of Rutgers AAUP-AFT voted on December 16, 2009, to support and encourage its members to support bill A 2978/S 1967 "Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act" in the New Jersey legislature.
Read the bill: Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act
Some basic reasons for supporting the “Freedom of Religion and Equality in Civil Marriage Act” include:
- New Jersey’s civil union law has not solved the problem of discrimination against people who are in same-sex unions. A special New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission in December 2009 heard abundant testimony from New Jerseyans directly affected by discrimination practiced by hospitals, health insurance companies, and employers. Read the transcript or view the video testimony at the Garden State Equality website:
- The marriage equality bill (A2978/S1967) recognizes religious objections by individuals and institutions, protecting the right to practice one’s faith, while guaranteeing recognition of civil marriage as “the legally recognized union of two consenting persons in a committed relationship” by the state of New Jersey. This law is a good example of preserving the First Amendment protection against the establishment of religion. It facilitates the state’s secular interest in governing a plural society through the encouragement of stable relationships and protecting individuals in those relationships, while allowing people and institutions with religious objections to be free to exercise their values.
- In times of crisis, it is particularly unfair and unreasonable to ask people in this state licensed relationship to have to explain civil union, to explain why they are legally entitled to hospital visitation rights, to explain why they are legally entitled to make final arrangements for their deceased spouse, and other such situations. As a practical matter, civil unions impose this unreasonable burden.
Some illustrations of the discrimination experienced by same-sex couples who have entered into New Jersey civil union partnerships:
- Paul Beckwith of Plainfield was denied access when his partner was rushed to the emergency room from a business meeting because Paul is not next of kin. He explained that they had a civil union, but the hospital did not recognize the term, instead replying “Business partners are not next of kin.” In a separate health care crisis, Paul himself was taken to a hospital because he had a ruptured appendix; his partner was denied access because he is not “next of kin.”
- Jodi Weiner testified that her New Jersey workplace initially denied health care benefits for her civil union partner but changed its mind when it learned that the couple had gotten married in Massachusetts. In this example, it is clear that the term “marriage” was key to obtaining rights that are theoretically supposed to be obtainable under the “civil union” law.
Paid Family Leave Insurance in New Jersey
2009 Year-End Report on Family Leave Insurance from the Time to Care Coalition:
PDF of Paid Family Leave Insurance Fact Sheet
Click here to find more information on paid family leave insurance on the website of the State of New Jersey: http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/fli/fliindex.html
Rutgers University administration is not deducting the tax from paychecks for Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants for Paid Family Leave Insurance fund because they do not work enough hours to qualify for this benefit under New Jersey family leave law.
Family Leave Insurance benefits can be claimed to:
Bond with a child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth, if the covered individual or the domestic partner or civil union partner of the covered individual, is a biological parent of the child, or the first 12 months after the placement of the child for adoption with the covered individual.
Care for a family member with a serious health condition supported by a certification provided by a health care provider. Claims may be filed for six consecutive weeks, for intermittent weeks or for 42 intermittent days during a 12 month period beginning with the first date of the claim.
Family member means a child, spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner or parent of a covered individual.
Child means a biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild or legal ward of a covered individual, child of a domestic partner of the covered individual, or child of a civil union partner of the covered individual, who is less than 19 years of age or is 19 years of age or older but incapable of self-care because of mental or physical impairment.
Coverage Employment, including employment with government entities, covered under the New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Law is covered for Family Leave Insurance.Employees may be covered under:
the State FLI Plan;
an approved Private Plan; or
Family Leave Insurance benefits during unemployment, if the period of leave begins more than 14 days after the last day of work.
Small businesses are not required to hold a job for the worker taking the paid family leave, but for businesses that employ more than 50 workers, federal law continues to require these large employers to hold a comparable job.
Paid Family Leave is financed by employee contributions through payroll tax deduction on a sliding scale, averaging about $33 per year, or 64 cents per week. Workers will be able to receive two-thirds of their salary up to a cap of $546 per week.
Beginning January 1, 2009, employers began to deduct the contributions from employee wages for all employees covered under the New Jersey State PFL Plan. These deductions must be noted on the employee's pay envelope, paycheck or on some other form of notice. The taxable wage base for Family Leave Insurance benefits is the same as the taxable wage base for Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance.
Employees covered under the New Jersey State PFL Plan can obtain information pertaining to the program and an application for Family Leave benefits (Form FL-1) after June 1, 2009, by visiting the Department of Labor and Workforce Development's web site at www.nj.gov/labor, by telephoning the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance's Customer Service Section at (609) 292-7060, or by writing to the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance, PO Box 387, Trenton, NJ 08625-0387.
Update on Paid Family Leave Granted from July-September 2009
On September 24, 2009 then-Governor Corzine announced that 5,407 New Jerseyans have been granted paid family leave insurance to care for new or adopted babies or to care for seriously ill family members since the program became effective on July 1. In just three months of operation, the insurance program made a different for 5,000 workers who are juggling their responsibilities at work and home. New Jersey Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow said to Time to Care Coalition members in a meeting in October 2009 that the Department of Labor had received no complaints from employers about the way the program is functioning.
In February 2009, a number of employees have asked why their FLI payroll deduction is more than 64 cents a week. The New Jersey "Time to Care" Coalition fact sheet explains that the FLI program takes a 0.09% deduction off a worker’s weekly paycheck for the first $28,800 earned in a calendar year, so the deduction will be more than 64 cents a week for many workers. However, the more a worker pays each week, the quicker the worker will reach the maximum 2009 contribution of $26.01.
Paid Family Leave Background:
The Paid Family Leave (PFL) bill was signed into law on Friday, May 2, 2008 by Governor Jon Corzine. He called his a "legacy moment" for his administration and New Jersey.
With the passage of this bill, our state becomes the third state in the nation to enact Family Leave Insurance, one of the most far-reaching and progressive workplace reforms in decades.
The Time to Care Coalition realized a great victory for working families in New Jersey. Rutgers AAUP-AFT was among the coalition partners as well as many other folks from Rutgers. The AFL-CIO, other labor union locals, community organizations, faith-based groups, the NJ National Organization for Women and other women's groups were also part of this effort that began about a dozen years ago. It's a big victory for working families and the unions that represent them. There was a tooth-and-nail battle with the business lobby.
At least one million NJ workers don't have a single paid day off from their job and 40% of all low-wage workers don't have a single sick day. This legislation will make a significant and real difference in the lives of NJ's working families and their loved ones.
Among workers at Rutgers University who will benefit from the new paid family leave insurance program are the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Counselors. They are employees (represented by AAUP-AFT) who do not have paid family leave in their contract. The full-time faculty and teaching/graduate assistants do have paid parental leave for care of newborn or recently adopted children, a gain we made in the 2007-2011 contract. This contract also has unpaid family leave covering the need to care for seriously ill family members.
Patrick Nowlan, staff representative for legislative affairs of Rutgers AAUP-AFT, and others who attended the bill signing report that it was an exciting, proud and joyful moment for the entire coalition. Over 200 people filled the room and cheered as sponsors and supporters gave moving and eloquent statements about the importance of Family Leave Insurance.
The Time to Care Coalition worked hard to get this bill over the finish line. There were dozens of legislative visits; many, many committee hearings; press conferences; polls commissioned; lobby days; small business owners recruited; and a lot of floor votes to get through. The Coalition’s grassroots organizing campaign was spectacular, especially given that the efforts were underfunded. Everyone working together generated over 100,000 email messages, handwritten letters, faxes and phone calls to legislators urging them to pass this bill.
Atif Malik was New Jersey Citizen Action’s principal staff person dedicated to keeping us working together in the Time to Care Coalition. We thank Atif and everyone in the coalition who helped make this happen.
Federal unpaid family leave provisions (FMLA)
Visit the Department of Labor's web page to read about the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA): http://www.dol.gov/esa/regs/statutes/whd/fmla.htm
New Jersey's Family Leave Act (unpaid leave)
This is the unpaid family leave law on the books before the new legislation was signed into law on May 2, 2008. This unpaid family leave law is still on the books and offers protection when an employee takes unpaid leave.
Click here to view the New Jersey Family Leave Act (PDF) You may also view a fact sheet on the New Jersey Family Leave Act on the state's web site:
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University-Wide Committee on Work and Family Issues
2009 RU Report on Work and Family Issues
The 2007-2011 contract created a University-wide Committee on Work and Family Issues. In June 2009, the committee completed its work and produced a report. The union is studying the report (which has not been officially released by the University administration) and developing its agenda for working with RU administration.
Background on the 2009 RU Committee report on work and family issues
President Richard L. McCormick and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Philip Furmanski officially charged the Committee on Monday, April 28, 2008. The Rutgers administration has appointed Marianne Gaunt (University Librarian--University Libraries) and Barbara Lee (Professor--School of Management & Labor Relations) as co-chairs of the University-Wide Committee.
Click here to read the letter announcing the meeting to charge the University-Wide Committee on Work and Family Issues.
Rutgers AAUP-AFT had six representatives on the University-wide Committee on Work and Family Issues:
Janet Golden (History, Camden)
Laura Ahearn (Anthropology, Douglass)
Susan Keith (Journalism & Media Studies, College Ave)
John Rollino (Physics, Newark)
Maria Stanko (TA, Ecological Evolution & Natural Resources, Cook)
Ryan Womack (Librarian, Alexander Library, College Ave)
In order to facilitate our internal work as a union to represent our members on work and family issues, including effectively represent our interests on the University-wide Committee, we established a standing committee on work and family issues.
Click here to read the charge establishing the standing committee, approved on December 13, 2007 by the Executive Council of the Rutgers Council of AAUP-AFT Chapters.
Union members with an interest in work and family issues may attend meetings of the union's standing committee. For more information, contact Cathy Stanford, union staff representative, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732-964-1000, ext. 10.
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How to Change Workplace Culture on Parenting, 2011
Read this January 12, 2011 article from the Chroncile of Higher Education by Mary Ann Mason, professor and co-director of the Berkeley Law Center on Health, Economic, and Family Security:
PDF of Mason article about changing workplace culture on parenting
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on Work and Family Issues in Academia
from the 2006 Work and Family Conference at Rutgers
On October 24, 2006, the Rutgers AAUP-AFT hosted an "Issues in Work and Family" Conference in New Brunswick. The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Women and Work. Similar conferences were held on the Camden and Newark campuses.
Faculty, staff, and students from Rutgers and around the state gathered to listen and discuss the delicate balance that those in academia have to make between work and family. Professor Bob Drago from Penn State University shared his research on the challenges of raising a family in academia. Following the keynote, Mary Gatta of Rutgers University, Estelle Gellman of Hofstra University, and Mark Watson discussed the integration of work and family at universities. The second panel, David Harris of Greater New Brunswick Day Care Council, LaTrella Thornton of City College Child Development & Family Services Center, and Robin Herlands of Yale University GESO, discussed childcare for all university employees.
Following the speakers, interested faculty and staff strategized on different ways to change the current leave policy and how to address the lack of access to on-campus and subsidized childcare at the university.
Speakers included the following:
Integrating Work and Family in Universities:
Childcare for All University Employees
David Harris, Greater New Brunswick Day Care Council “Childcare in the New Brunswick Area”
LaTrella Thornton, City College Child Development & Family Services Center, “Need for Childcare at Universities”
Robin Herlands, Yale University GESO , “Gaining Childcare for all Employees on University Campuses”
AFSCME Local 1761 Clerical, Office, Laboratory, and Technical
Article 15 – Pregnancy/Childbirth, Adoption, Child Care Leave
AAUP-AFT, Full-Time Faculty and TA/GA
Article XVI – "Family Leave and Disability Resulting from Pregnancy" as it existed under the 2003-2007 Collective Agreement
AFSCME 888, Service and Maintenance Agreement
Article 12 – Pregnancy/Childbirth/Adoption/Child Care Leave
Making Room for Baby
Inside Higher Ed, January 30, 2006
Jobs, News and Views for All of Higher Education - Inside Higher Ed :: Making Room for Baby
If you are interested in more information about work-family policy and events at Rutgers, please send an e-mail to email@example.com.