Dear AAUP-BHSNJ Faculty,
We wanted to update you in several areas.
108 Faculty Members to Receive Raises to Academic Base Minimums
In December, we wrote you that 108 faculty members were currently paid an academic base salary below what is provided for in our union contract. The minimum academic base salary was increased on 7.31.21. However, it appeared that when the University paid merit increases on October 29th, it failed to at the same time adjust salaries to the new minimums. You can see them here. After bringing this to the attention of the University, we are pleased that the University agreed to voluntarily correct their mistake. This shows you the value of our union. Not only do we bargain annual increases to your salary, but we have to stay vigilant to make sure you are paid properly. As soon as we know which payrolls will reflect these changes, we will let you know.
Staying Ahead of Omicron
For the past month, we have been advocating for wider access to KN95 masks, especially for those with patient care responsibilities. This would be consistent with the latest CDC guidance that shows that N95 and KN95 masks offer stronger protection against Omicron. Administration has repeatedly stated that they would not change their procedures and supply healthcare workers with these masks. We are glad that the University recently took additional steps this month to provide for a safer campus when Chancellor Brian Strom stated to the RBHS faculty council that everyone on RBHS campuses will be provided with these masks. However, it is not clear when this will happen and if only a limited number of masks will be supplied. We believe that anyone with face-to-face patient care should have the best protection and deserves an adequate supply of these masks.
Bargaining Survey and Preparing for Contract Negotiations
This year will be an important year for our union. In July 2022, our faculty union contract expires. In negotiating a successor contract, we face an enormous challenge in maintaining and building on the gains we won in the last contract. We brought 147 faculty up to the 25% of the AAMC national benchmarks (we need to build on this). We need to maintain compensation in face of further alignment with RWJBH and rising inflation. Most importantly, we must severely limit RWJBH in the hiring of non-union, full-title faculty. This presents a threat to our union’s long-term viability. But we want to know what you think. In a few days, we will unveil our bargaining survey where you can weigh in on what’s on your mind.
NYT Video Opinion on Staffing
There is an excellent opinion video in the New York Times about the lack of staffing in hospitals and how hospitals are intentionally understaffing hospitals. It runs six minutes.