By Amethyst Martinez
Rider’s American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) chapter and the university have come to an agreement following a grievance filed by the union in regards to pay discrepancies for workers’ 2022 salaries.
The union, which represents over 50 members of Rider staff, filed the grievance on Sept. 2 and have since been in talks with the university regarding pay issues that occurred due to the new payroll system ADP, which was implemented in the summer.
From July 15 to Aug. 5, union members went without a paycheck due to the switch. Lynn Rugg, co-president of Rider’s AFSCME chapter, who works as a sports information administrative associate at the university, claimed the missing paycheck was due to the change from a semimonthly pay period to a biweekly period. This made union members’ schedules go from 24 semimonthly paychecks a year (at the middle and end of each month) to 26 biweekly paychecks, every other Friday. Since the timesheet change occurred in the middle of the year for 2022, members were paid 13 semimonthly payments plus 11 biweekly, which led to a discrepancy for the year.
According to an article published by The Rider News on Oct. 26, talks between the union and university were scheduled for Nov. 1 after Rider’s AFSCME chapter received a response from management for their amended grievance relating to the terms of their labor contract being violated.
Rugg said that the union had their grievance meeting with Robert Stoto, vice president for human resources, Clarissa Gilliam, director of employment and employee relations, Eric Mayhand, human resources information system manager, and James Hartman, vice president of finance. Rugg also said that Stoto arranged for a group meeting for all members of the union’s bargaining unit, and that other non-bargaining unit employees who were affected also attended the gathering on Nov. 2.
Rugg said, “The opportunity allowed everyone to explain the effects and hardships of the transition to ADP and from semimonthly to biweekly payroll in the middle of the calendar year. Respectfully, both parties came to an amicable agreement.”
The union has said its members are among some of the lowest-paid Rider employees, and some faced serious financial difficulties during the pay lag this past summer.
The decision was finalized on Nov. 7, and the university agreed to pay union members what they are owed on Dec. 9, according to Rugg and Kristine Brown, associate vice president for university marketing and communications.
“After members of the administration met with employees who were impacted by the transition from semimonthly to biweekly pay, and discussing their concerns related to inconveniences caused by this mid-year change,” Brown said. “The university announced that it will provide a one-time transition payment, totalling two weeks of regular pay, to those affected employees before the end of the calendar year.”
Rugg said that this decision comes after management agreed with the union’s assessment that they were not being paid their correct yearly salary for 2022.
“We began the inquiry in August, so I am disappointed that it took so long to resolve,” said Rugg. “However, we are pleased with the outcome and we appreciate management’s willingness to listen to our members and to conclude that the change in the payroll system was going to leave us with less money at the end of 2022.”