Announcements from the Senior Vice President
Dear Rutgers Colleagues:
We are pleased to announce the launch of the My Wellness app, now available within the Rutgers University mobile app and within the myRutgers portal. As part of the Rutgers Employees First initiative, the My Wellness app was developed in collaboration with University Human Resources, IP&O Strategic Services, OIT Application Services, and the Emergency Operations Center's Behavioral Health and Wellness workgroup. The purpose of the app is to support the physical, emotional, and social well-being of Rutgers employees by providing quick and easy access to wellness content from your mobile device. Discover a variety of resources at your fingertips by downloading the app today.
Dear Rutgers Colleagues,
As part of our continued efforts to support the health and safety of our university community, and as an important tool in fully repopulating our campuses in the coming months, the telecommuting policy relaxation has been extended through December 31, 2021. This extension will allow for a Return to Rutgers planning process that provides unit heads sufficient flexibility to meet the business needs of their departments while supporting the safety of our campus community.
Please note that the President will be communicating with you within the next week regarding the process of returning fully to campus. That message will contain additional information about how telecommuting might fit into return to campus plans.
The temporary expansion of permissible use of accrued paid sick time for COVID-19 related self-quarantine, school closure, place of child care closure, or lack of availability of child care set to expire on May 31, 2021 has been extended through December 31, 2021.
We are requesting your assistance in updating our employee demographic information. Having the ability to benchmark success in our hiring practices aids us in many ways. It helps us to better understand the composition of our workforce, informs our planning processes, and allows us to comply with federal compliance requirements.
We encourage you to take a moment to update your Race/Ethnicity demographic information. Although this two-item questionnaire is voluntary, we hope that you choose to complete it. The data from this survey helps us to build a modern and diverse workforce.
The temporary expansion of permissible use of accrued paid sick time for COVID-19 related self-quarantine, school closure, place of child care closure, or lack of availability of child care set to expire on March 31, 2021 has been extended through May 31, 2021.
As part of our continued efforts to support the health and safety of our university community, the telecommuting policy relaxation has been extended through May 31, 2021. We continue to monitor all pertinent health information associated with COVID-19, including transmission and positivity rates, vaccine availability, CDC guidance, and public health guidance and directives issued by the State of New Jersey and will evaluate the extension of telecommuting policy relaxation on a monthly basis.
Additional information regarding telecommuting:
Effective January 4, 2021, the final approval for exception for the release of all personnel transactions will be the responsibility of the respective cabinet officer. Approved Exception Request Forms (ERFs) should be attached to personnel transactions in accordance with the Hiring Freeze Guidelines and submitted directly to the appropriate UHR unit for processing (i.e. transactions should no longer be submitted to OneSource). Each chancellor unit has put in place internal procedures to allow for the monitoring, review, and approval of personnel transactions in accordance with the Hiring Freeze Guidelines.
Pursuant to university policy and negotiated agreements, the University Holiday and Closings Schedules for calendar year 2021 and 2022 have been posted in the Quick Links section on the UHR homepage and can be found here. The posted schedules are reflective of holidays and closures for all Rutgers entities. Please review the list and plan accordingly.
Senior Vice President Human Resources
Updated as of 3/10/21
We have recently implemented a number of measures to protect our campus community while maintaining continuity of academic and research programs, clinical care, and mission critical administrative and operational functions. However, we are not immune to the enormous financial impact that has resulted from COVID-19. As a result, President Barchi has directed the implementation of a hiring freeze and the suspension of certain personnel transactions.
Effective 4/2/2020 and until further notice, the following position cost controls will be in place; general exceptions are listed below this table:
In order to continue to support social distancing, the telecommuting rule relaxation policy set to expire on December 31, 2020 has been extended through March 31, 2021. Telecommuting is automatically updated and does not require a new or revised request unless there has been a change to your work schedule.
As a reminder, telecommuting is a work arrangement in which some or all work is performed from home or other off-site location. In general, regular office hours are worked, however a department head may approve a work schedule outside of regular business hours.
We continue to encourage department heads to be flexible in allowing telecommuting arrangements where feasible.
The New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits (NJDPB) has designated October 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020 as the 2021 Open Enrollment Period for the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and New Jersey Tax$ave Program. This is your annual opportunity to assess your benefits needs and revise your medical, prescription, dental, and pre-tax flexible spending account selections for the next calendar year. The deadline for submission of all 2021 plan changes is October 31, 2020. All changes made during Open Enrollment will be effective on January 1, 2021. For more information on the 2021 Open Enrollment Period, please visit University Human Resources (UHR) at Benefits Open Enrollment Virtual Fair.
IMPORTANT BENEFITS INFORMATION: New Online Medical, Prescription, and Dental Insurance Open Enrollment
Dear Rutgers Colleagues,
The New Jersey Division of Pensions and Benefits (NJDPB) has designated October 1, 2020 – October 31, 2020 as Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment is your yearly opportunity to review benefits and make changes for the next calendar year. While more information regarding Open Enrollment will be available later this month, we wanted to provide an important update regarding a change to the Open Enrollment process.
A Message from Teamsters Local 97 President John Gerow and Rutgers Senior Vice President Vivian Fernandez
Dear Rutgers Colleagues:
We are pleased to announce that Rutgers University and Teamsters Local 97 have reached agreements that will help to address our current fiscal crisis while protecting jobs and securing salary increases and benefits. Teamsters Local 97 represents nearly 1,700 university employees in the clerical, paraprofessional, technical, service, and maintenance fields.
The past few months have been extraordinarily challenging, but through those challenges you have once again demonstrated that our employees are our greatest asset. During this time of crisis, you have come together as leaders and professionals, demonstrating a caliber of expertise, dedication, flexibility, and innovation that has allowed Rutgers to serve as a model in supporting our students and caring for our patients, while managing the financial, operational, and human impacts of this pandemic.
A message from AFSCME Presidents Daniel Duffy and Joy Willinger and Rutgers Senior Vice President Vivian Fernandez
Dear Rutgers Colleagues:
We are pleased to announce that Rutgers University and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 888 and Local 1761 have reached a tentative agreement for a shared work/furlough program. The tentative agreement will protect approximately 450 jobs within the Division of Institutional Planning and Operations and the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center. The tentative agreement must still be ratified by the union membership, and the shared work program is subject to approval by the State of New Jersey.
This is to provide clarification related to the recent announcement of leave benefits under Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“E-FLMA”). Employees wishing to apply for EPSLA and/or E-FMLA should submit their requests through the OneSource Portal. In addition, please note the following important information:
In April, President Barchi directed the implementation of a hiring freeze and suspended certain personnel transactions. The Hiring Freeze and Position Cost Control Presidential Directive allows for exception requests under certain very limited circumstances, including positions that support clinical care, COVID-19, health and safety, and positions supported through external funding.
Dear Rutgers Colleagues:
As we approach the end of the current fiscal year, I am writing to remind you that, pursuant to university policy and negotiated agreement, staff employees who are eligible to accrue paid time off may only carry forward into the next fiscal year the equivalent of one year of accrued vacation days. In order to avoid forfeiting credited vacation time in excess of the carryover cap, staff members are encouraged to work with their supervisors now to review workload and staffing requirements for their department, and to develop a plan to use excess vacation time prior to June 30, 2020.
It is time for our first non-aligned employee End of Year Review process under our new online process. The End of Year Review is an opportunity to celebrate accomplishments and discuss goals for the coming year. It is also an opportunity for employees and manager to discuss strengths and identify areas of further development in relation to position-specific responsibilities, overall performance, and career aspirations. The End of Year Review process will run from May 5, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
As a follow-up to my communication last week, the following is the guidance promised explaining how COVID-19 leaves will be managed as we transition from Rutgers COVID-19 Paid Leave (CPL), which will end on May 8th, to the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (“E-FMLA”) and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“EPSLA”) provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). These new processes and guidelines will be effective May 9, 2020 through December 31, 2020. We continue to urge all supervisors to use their discretion in working with employees to allow for flexible telecommuting workplans, flexible work schedules, and split shift agreements to the extent possible.