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Agreement reached with State regarding
wage freeze/furloughs

July 8, 2009

The Council leadership determined that it was necessary to enter into discussions with the State on modifying our existing contract covering the nine colleges and universities. Several factors led us to this difficult decision: the announced furloughs at Kean and William Paterson Universities; the state budget that contained severe fiscal penalties for our institutions if they do not obtain significant payroll/personnel savings; indications that the college/university presidents would not adhere to their original claims that they would hold harmless our members; to avoid inequitable treatment of our membership across the state and maintain our salary tables; and finally, to help preserve the overall fiscal integrity of our institutions due to the possibility of additional reductions to their appropriations.

Given the aforementioned factors, the agreement outlined below is the best obtainable solution for our members to deal with the fiscal crisis facing our state and institutions.

Summary of Memorandum of Agreement Regarding
Furloughs and Wage Freezes

Wage Freeze

The July 2009 across-the-board wage Increase of 3.5% will be deferred until the first full pay period after January 1, 2011, which will keep us at the annual salary level where we would have been in the last six months our current contract. Any step increases due from July 2009 through June 30, 2010, will be given at the 2008-2009 salary chart rates (p. 128 of State-Union Agreement).

Summer Session and Overload 2009-2010 increases will not be affected.

Adjunct faculty are not subject to this Agreement and will receive their 2009 increases.

The July & September 2010 3.5% across-the-board increases to annual base salaries will not be affected.

Furloughs and Implementation of Furlough Days

Each full-time AFT unit member must take seven unpaid furlough days to be used prior to July 1, 2010.  The day after Thanksgiving is the only directed furlough day (except for those employees who are required to work on that day by their College or University). The remaining six furlough days shall be self-directed. Furlough days will be applied on a pro-rated basis to part-time AFT unit members. 

All employees who are required to work on the day after Thanksgiving (November 27, 2009) due to the nature of their positions will be required to use an alternate unpaid furlough day.

Implementation of unpaid furlough days at the A. Harry Moore School will be determined between the local union and the university administration.

Through June 30, 2011, AFT employees will not be forced to take (involuntary) unpaid leaves of absence or furloughs. 

Employees will propose furlough days to their deans or supervisors by October 1, 2009.  Unit members can take approved furlough days prior to September 1, 2009. The furlough days proposed will not interfere with the operations of instructional programs or peak work periods. Management will respond to submitted furlough day proposals by no later than October 30, 2009 (or as soon as practicable).  Members who do not meet the October 1, 2009 deadline to submit proposed furlough days will have the days selected by their respective Dean/supervisor, or their designees.

All six furlough days plus any alternate for the day after Thanksgiving must be taken by not later than June 30, 2010. 

 Any unusual circumstances that arise over furlough days used by employees who are on extended unpaid or paid leaves of absence will be addressed first at the local level. If a local resolution cannot be reached, the matter will be addressed by the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations.

If any AFT unit member is furloughed or required to use an unpaid leave day in violation of the agreement, the member will not experiences a loss of compensation as a result of not being permitted to work on that day.

No Layoff Pledge

No layoff of AFT bargaining unit employees during the period of the wage freeze that ends on January 1, 2011.

Kean University, William Paterson University will rescind announced closure-furlough plans.

Violations of No Layoff Pledge

If any member of the bargaining unit is laid off prior to January 1, 2011 in violation of the no layoff pledge the following will occur:

The deferral of the 3.5% July 2009 across-the-board increase shall immediately end and on a prospective basis, the salaries of all AFT unit members at that College or University will immediately return to the levels provided for in the 2007-2011 collective negotiations agreements

If a unit member is laid off prior to July 1, 2010, the furlough provisions will no longer be operative and employees who are not laid off will not be required to use any additional furlough days at that College or University except as provided for in this paragraph.  Furlough days utilized in excess of the days the employee was required to use on a prorated basis will be reimbursed at the value of such days.

Any College/University that violates the No Layoff Pledge will not be able to count the savings achieved towards its certification to the Office of Management and Budget and will have to forfeit 5.25% of the State’s funding.

Paid Leave Bank

By the end of the FY 2010, all employees who utilize a total of seven furlough days will have accrued a total of three paid leave bank (PLB) days.   

Faculty and other 10-month employees’ PLB days will be used the same as sick leave credit upon being earned. 

PLB days will be usable for personal illness or injury or as paid family leave in accordance with the paid family leave statute for New Jersey. 

For all 12-month employees, the PLB days will be used the same as vacation leave

The PLB days will be recorded separately from other paid and there will be no limitations on the carryover of days in the PLB. 

Any balance of unpaid leave days may be cashed when you leave state service.

(Note: The state originally sought 12 furlough days from all state workers. Some bargaining units determined that 10 furlough days/7 PLB day’s ratio was best suited for their members. In response to comments by many of our members, we determined that a 7 furlough days/3 PLB day’s ratio was more appropriate for our unit. (The premise for our agreement is that it’s better to have more money up front rather than to wait years or even decades for remuneration).

SHBP Coverage

State Health Benefits Commission determines eligibility for coverage.  The State does not dispute that full time faculty are full time employees eligible for such coverage.

State College and University Committees

A Statewide Committee established by the State with regard to Colleges and Universities will include, but not be limited to representatives from the colleges and universities and from unions representing state college and university employees.  The Statewide Committee will report to the Office of the Governor with respect to each institution’s Carnegie ranking as well as spending and costs related to a number of areas. (see entire MOA).

By the end of the 2009/2010 academic year but no later than December 31, 2010, the Statewide Committee will report to the Office of the Governor, the Commission on Higher Education, and to the union.

Federal Stimulus Funds

By no later than August 31, 2009, the Union will receive information from each College/University President about how the federal stimulus funds as part of the FY 2010 state appropriation will be used on that campus prior to the commitment of the funds.

The Union shall have the opportunity to discuss the information further and can provide recommendations as to the use of these funds.  The president or his/her designees will meet with the union for that purpose.

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