Bargain Fair Compensation
For the past few decades, the UPA faculty practice has determined how NJMS faculty are compensated concerning the clinical revenue portion of their salary. Further, it has funded numerous research and academic programs at NJMS. And while the UPA model is not perfect, it has also ensured that many faculty are competitively compensated relative to their peers. The existing affiliation agreement between UPA and Rutgers secures the status quo through July 1, 2020 in terms of your department’s role in determining how clinical revenues generated by you are distributed. However, our current Union negotiations will determine how you will be paid in the future. With the assistance of UPA leaders, the AAUP-BHSNJ presented the Rutgers Administration with a Compensation Plan, which will replace the existing UPA department formula process for the distribution of faculty generated clinical revenue. Our plan attempts to keep much of the framework has created intact by guaranteeing revenue to departments and faculty alike in the years subsequent to July 1, 2020. Given that the switch over to RWJBH will likely result in at least a 10-20% drop in overall revenue collected, it is critical that these guarantees are adequate to protect our faculty and prevent them from leaving. Finally, our plan attempts to keep much of the voice and control departments have in running the practice. In particular, it provides a way faculty can have say in any of the future deals that negotiated with RWJBH. We have proposed amendments to the merit pay system. Currently, there is a large issue with merit pay increases not being tied to evaluation scores. In other words, a faculty member could get an excellent evaluation but only a small increase in pay. While we presented the senior Administration with data that showed a poor correlation between a faculty member's evaluation and the merit increase received, they produced no solutions for making the system more fair or transparent. In contrast, our plan requires that any increase cannot be more than .6 below the evaluation score.
Job Security for both Tenured and Non-Tenure Track Faculty
Unfortunately, we have represented a number of NTT faculty members which have had their reappointments non-renewed for arbitrary or retaliatory reasons. Renewal of appointments should be based on job performance and nothing else. Currently, AAUP-BHSNJ tenured faculty are subject to less rigorous dismissal procedures then other Rutgers tenured faculty. This should be corrected.
A Voice for Faculty in the RWJBH/Rutgers AlignmentWe are advocating for you in Trenton, at the bargaining table and in meetings with the Chancellor. We are fighting to:
- To stop Professional Practice track faculty being moved to RWJBH, where they will not receive union representation or the full rights and benefits of being a faculty member.
- Prevent faculty from being assigned to RWJBH institutions at the last minute and have to travel a considerable distance to do so.
- Maintain a voice in how the RWJBH practice is run and to maintain control over aspects where faculty currently occupy control.
- Ensure that University Hospital’s historic mission is protected.
Let’s Slow Down the Premature Medical School Merger
Several months ago, the RBHS Chancellor formed a “Committee on the Future of Medical Education,” comprised of mostly Rutgers faculty administrators. This committee is tasked with making a recommendation as to how the two medical schools, New Jersey Medical School and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School could merge together or align in some fashion. We oppose any attempts to use a merger plan to reduce the number of faculty positions, decrease tenure, relocate faculty offices or laboratories, and any other potentially adverse effects on our faculty. Please see our full statement on this issue.
Your Rights Contained in the NJMS Bylaws
We have been educating faculty about their rights contained in the NJMS Bylaws. Currently, the Administration is attempting to remove key provisions concerning academic freedom, salary commitment to tenured faculty, and shared governance. Even after a vote of the faculty to keep many of these provisions in place, the Administration is pressuring the bylaws committee to remove them. Please let your colleagues know that this is wrong and that they should not support a further dilution of their rights. This particularly impacts non-bargaining unit faculty (such as chairs and division directors) as the Union cannot protect them through its contract.
Reforming University Hospital
Recently, Ms. Judy Persichilli has taken over as Interim CEO for University Hospital after it exhibited numerous problems concerning efficiency and patient safety. In her report, she suggested that the Clinical Services Agreement (“CSA”) between UH and NJMS may provide the medical school with an excess of funds. We have been trying to educate senior UH leadership on the importance of the CSA to our clinical departments. We also have been collaborating with other unions and community groups, as UH creates its new strategic plan. We hope all stakeholders will be a part of the hospital’s transformation.