Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Probationary Period
  2. Becoming a Member of the Union
  3. Seniority
  4. Wages & Differentials
  5. On-Call
  6. Mandatories, Education, & Reimbursements
  7. Holidays
  8. Vacations
  9. Sick Time & Emergency Day & Bereavement
  10. Jury Duty
  11. Breaks
  12. Staffing & Floating
  13. Scheduling
  14. Transferring Units
  15. Retirement

Probationary Period

Q: What is the probationary period?

A: Probationary period is 3 months from day of employment. (Article 3)

Q: Can probationary period be extended?

A: Probationary period may be extended by the number of missed shifts that occurred during the 3 month probationary period. The Hospital and the Union may mutually extend the probation for a period not to exceed 30 days. (Article 3)

Becoming a Member of the Union

Q: When would a newly hired part-time or full-time registered nurse be considered a member of USW Local 4-200?

A: Beginning the first month following the completion of their probationary period will a newly hired part-time or full-times registered nurse acquire and maintain membership in the Union. (Article 2)

Q: What is the Introductory Fee for joining the Union?

A: The Introductory Fee is a total of $100.00 ($50.00 will be taken from 2 pay periods) and will be taken out after completion of probationary period.



Q: How do I accrue seniority?

A: All seniority shall commence after the completion of the RN’s probationary period. Upon successful completion of the employee’s probationary period, seniority shall be computed from the employee’s date of last hire as a Registered Nurse. (Article 5.2)

Q: When would I lose seniority?

A: All seniority rights shall be lost and an employee will be considered to have a break in “continuous” service if any of the following conditions or circumstances occurs:

  • An employee voluntarily quits. In the event the employee is reemployed by the Hospital within 1 month from the employee’s date of resignation, the employee will not sustain a loss of seniority; or
  • An employee is discharged; or
  • An employee has been laid off continuously for a period of 8 months; or
  • An employee does not respond to recall after a layoff within 5 working days from the mailing of a recall notice sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to the employee at the employee’s last known address on the Hospital’s payroll record advising the employee that work is available; or
  • An employee fails to report for work at the expiration of leave of absence, or giving false reason for obtaining a leave of absence; or
  • If an employee is absent from work for 2 consecutive days without notifying the Hospital. In the event an employee fails to give said notification, the employee may be reinstated without loss of seniority by furnishing a reason for such failure satisfactory to the Hospital; or
  • An employee does not work or is otherwise absent from employment for any reason other than worker’s compensation for a period of 12 months. For employees on workers’ compensation, the period shall be 18 months; or
  • An employee who leaves the bargaining unit for a non-bargaining unit position within the Hospital for a continuous period that exceeds 30 days; or
  • A RN who is in an acting position (I.e. interim manager) outside of the bargaining unit within the Hospital shall continue to accrue his or her seniority for a period not to exceed 6 months. (Article 5.4 & 5.6)

Wages & Differentials

Q: What is Charge Pay?

A: A RN that is assigned to be in charge of a nursing unit for a continuous period of 4 hours or more and who performs charge nurse responsibilities shall be paid a differential of $2.00 per hour. (Article 6.8b)

Q: What is Preceptor Pay?

A: Effective January 1, 2021, RNs will receive $1.50 per hour for every hour spent precepting an orientee. (Article 6.9)

Q: What is Certification Pay?

A: Any RN who possesses a certification recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and deemed relevant to the clinical specialty by the Chief Nursing Officer or designee will receive a pay differential of $2.00 per hour. (Article 6.7)

Q: Can you get paid for more than one Certification?

A: No, no more than one certification will be paid to a nurse at any given time. (Article 6.7)

Q: Do you receive extra pay for BSN?

A: Subject to Article 32  of Contract, an employee who holds a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (BSN) from an NLNAC or CCNE or APHA accredited college or university will be paid an additional $0.25 per hour, which will be incorporated as a differential to the employee’s hourly wage rate. Any nurse hired on or after July 1, 2012, will not be eligible for the BSN differential unless the hospital revises the hiring criteria for newly hired nurses to something other than a BSN. Any RN receiving the BSN differential as of the date of any change in hiring criteria will continue to receive their differential. (Article 6.6)

Q: Do you receive extra pay for MSN?

A: Any RN who holds a MSN from an NLNAC or CCNE accredited college or university will be paid an additional $1.00 per hour; for a total of $1.25 for BSN and MSN. (Article 6.6)

Q: When would I be paid overtime?

A: Overtime pay will be paid to any RN who is work an excess of 40 hours in any work week. Overtime pay will be time and one-half (1 ½ ) times a RN’s regular rate of pay; this includes step increases and applicable differentials. (Article 7.3c)

Q: What is the Holiday Pay?

A: The Hospital shall pay a RN for all hours worked on a recognized holiday at the rate of one and one-half (1 ½ ) times such RN’s hourly wage rate. (Article 9.3)

Q: What is Longevity Pay?

A: Longevity Pay will be given to a registered nurse who has continuously been employed at RWJUH for 10 years or more. The amount of Longevity Pay a member receives is based on years as a RN at RWJUH. For a RN that has been at RWJUH for 10 years or more will receive longevity pay differential in the amount equal to $0.50 per hour. For a RN that has been at RWJUH for 15 years or more will receive an additional $0.25 per hour longevity differential for a total of $0.75 per hour. RNs with 20 years or more of service at RWJUH will receive an additional $0.25 per hour longevity differential for a total of 1.00 per hour. And for RNs who have been employed at RWJUH for 25 years or more will receive an additional $0.25 per hour longevity differential for a total of $1.25 per hour. (Article 6.5)

Q: What is the evening shift differential?

A: Evening shift differential will be paid for employees working the evening shift (3pm -11:30pm). As of July1, 2019 RNs working evening shift shall receive an evening shift differential of $5.47 per hour. (Article 8.2)

Q: What is the night shift differential?

A: Night shift differential will be paid for employees working the night shift (11pm -7:30 am). As of July1, 2019 RNs working night shift shall receive a night shift differential of $6.84 per hour. (Article 8.2)

Q: What is the pay differential for CNI?

A: The pay differential for CNI is $0.10/hour. (Article 32.9)

Q: What is the pay differential for CNII

A: The total pay differential for CNII is $0.55/hour (additional $0.45/hour). (Article 32.9)

Q: What is the pay differential for CNIII?

A: The hourly pay differential for CNIII is that of the CNII rate, which is $0.55/hour. In addition, the RN will receive an annual bonus of $1600. (Article 32.9)

Q:  What is the pay differential for CNIV?

A: The hourly pay differential for CNIV is that of the CNII rate, which is $0.55/hour. In addition, the RN will receive an annual bonus of $1600 from CNIII and then an additional $350 for a total of $1950 annual bonus. (Article 32.9)


Q: What is On-Call Pay?

A: RNs scheduled to be on-call shall receive a minimum of $4.75 per hour for each hour they are required to be on-call. This amount will increase to $5.00 per hour effective . (Article 7.6d)

Q: Do I need to stay on hospital property while on-call?

A: RNs are not required to remain on Hospital premises while on-call, however, they shall not be further distance travel time than 30 minutes from the Hospital. (Article 7.6h)

Q: When will the on-call schedule be posted?

A: The on-call schedule will be posted 4 weeks in advance and in conjunction with the staffing schedule. (Article 7.7b)

Q: How is on-call assignments distributed?

A: On-call assignments shall be equitably distributed. (Article 7.6c)

Mandatories, Education, & Tuition Reimbursements

Q: Do I get paid for mandatories?

A: Mandatories are considered time worked. All reasonable attempts will be made to provide employees adequate time for completion of such mandatories. Requests to complete mandatories after worked hours must be made in advance in writing to the Nursing Director or designee for these hours to be paid. (Article 24.3)

Q: How much tuition reimbursement am I eligible for?

A: As of 2016, the Hospital shall reimburse an employee a maximum of $5250 per payroll calendar year for studies leading to BSN degree. In order for a course, seminar, or participation in a challenge examination to be approved, the course of study must, in the opinion of the Hospital, be directly related to the elevation of the professional or occupational area of competence of the employee with reference to the employee’s employment with the Hospital. In order for reimbursement to be paid the employee must submit proof of payment and proof of having received a grade of not less than a “C” or equivalent and received credit for the course attended. Also, an employee shall be eligible for such benefit only after the completion of the employee’s probationary period. For any employee who completes an approved course while on worker’s compensation will receive their tuition reimbursement upon the employee’s return to active employment. (Article 24.2)

Q: Do I get paid for required certification and certification renewal (I.e. ACLS)?

A: Where an employee must attend a certification course required by an accrediting or regulatory body to work in his/her unit, the employee will be entitled to his/her regular pay to attend such certification course. The current courses that have been approved include: ENCC/TNCC/ONS/ONCC/Chemotherapy Biotherapy Certificate, ACLS/BLS/PALS/NRP, and Stroke Education. Please refer to Article 24.4 for the chart with the breakdown of approved hours for pay/reimbursement.


Q: What are the recognized holidays?

A: The recognized holidays at RWJUH include: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. (Article 9.1)

Q: How are the holidays scheduled?

A: Holidays are scheduled based on seniority.

Q: Do I receive holiday time?

A: Holiday time is included in your PTO bank. See  PTO bank in contract for further breakdown of holiday time.

Q: Can I be taken off a holiday?

A: Prior to the actual holiday, time will be given off based on seniority. On the day of the holiday, time will be granted based on the convenience time off roster of the unit (by rotation). When a per diem is working for a staff employee on a unit for a holiday, the per diem will be downsized after regular staff. (Article 9.8)


Q: How do I accrue vacation time (PTO)?

A: PTO is accrued on a pay period basis and is shown on your pay stub. The rate at which a RN accrues PTO depends on the RN’s years of service at RWJUH and employee status. PTO can be utilized after the successful completion of the probationary period. See PTO Charts for further breakdown. (Article 34)

Q: Does PTO carry over from year to year?

A:  A portion of PTO will carry over from year to year. The PTO accrual cycle will run annually from the first pay of the second quarter through the last pay of the first quarter of the following year. During each PTO cycle, there is 96 hours of PTO (pro-rated based on employment status) that must be used and will not carry over to the following PTO cycle. In addition, there is a maximum accrual of PTO that each employee can have in their bank. PTO in excess of the amounts indicated in the PTO Charts per PTO accrual cycle will be forfeited. See PTO Charts for maximum accrual. (Article 34)

Q: What is the 96 hours of PTO time that needs to be used?

A: The 96 hours of PTO, which is pro-rated based on employment status, is a combination of holidays, personal days, and birthday time. This portion of PTO must be used annually prior to the last pay of the first quarter of each year. (Article 34)

Q:  How do I put in a PTO request?

A:  PTO request forms can be found on the RWJUH intranet à Human Resources Division à Forms à Advance Request Time Off.

Q: What happens if I keep getting denied PTO?

A:  In cases where 2 written PTO requests have been submitted and denied and the employee has not taken the required 96 hours in the PTO cycle, a 2 month extension will be applied to the accrual cycle period for the employee. This extension will be agreed upon, documented, and placed into the employee’s departmental file. (Article 34)

Q: What happens if I call out sick the day before my PTO or a holiday recognized by the Hospital?

A: RNs must provide doctor’s notes for absences during their scheduled shifts before and after holidays/PTO days in order to receive sick pay. (Article 11.3c)


Q: What are the vacation request deadlines?

A: Vacation requests are approved based on two things: Seniority and submitting request prior to deadline. Vacation requests can still be granted after deadline, however, they would then be on first come first serve basis. The deadline to submit vacation/ PTO application comes from RWJ Policy and Procedures and is as follows:

Vacation Period                                   Deadline to Submit Application                                    Approval/Denial Response Date

May 15th – Sept. 15th                                March 15th                                                                       April 15th

Sept. 15th to Dec 15th                               June 15th                                                                           July 15th

Dec. 15th to Feb. 15th                               Sept. 15th                                                                           Oct. 15th

Feb. 15th to May 15th                                Nov. 15th                                                                           Dec. 15th

Sick Time & Emergency Day & Bereavement

Q: What happens if I call out sick on a weekend?

A: Weekend make-ups are required for RNs who call out sick on a weekend shift. The weekend make-up shift will be a weekend shift that is mutually agreeable between the RN and the manager and must be completed within two posted schedules beyond the current schedule. Excepts to weekend makeup are hospitalizations, disability leave, or if an employee is sent home by employee health or the Emergency Room or nursing management or a RN who is sick on one weekend day per calendar year. (Article 7.10)

Q: How long before my shift do I have to call out sick?

A: To be eligible for sick time pay, a RN must provide at least 3 hours notice prior to the start of their regularly scheduled shift in order to be paid. RNs calling out sick without providing 3 hours notice will not be paid for that shift and will be marked as absent. (Article 11.3)

Q: What happens if I have an Emergency on a day I am scheduled to work?

A: RNs may use one benefit day per calendar year as an unscheduled absence due to a personal emergency. However, in the event that an emergency situation is declared by the Hospital, then an Emergency Day may not be requested. (Article 9.9)

Q: How much sick time do I accrue?

A: RNs after completion of their probationary period shall accrue sick leave on a bi-weekly pay period basis in an amount which would result in an annual accrual of 96 hours per year for full-time employees. Accrual rates is based on employee hourly status and is prorated. (Article 11)

Q: Is there a Sick Time Policy?

A: Currently there is no Sick Time Policy; however, some units have Sick Time guidelines that they use. Ask your manager or director about your unit’s guidelines.

Q: When do I need a doctor’s note?

A:  Examples of when a doctor’s note may be required are as follows:

  1. RNs must provide doctor’s notes for absences during their scheduled shifts before and after holidays/PTO days in order to receive sick pay. (Article 11.3c)
  2. RNs may be required to produce doctor’s note if they have been out of work sick for 3 consecutive shifts and must be cleared to return to work by Employee Health. (Article 11.3a)
  3. RNs may be required to provide a doctor’s note for absences fewer than 3 days if they have received prior counseling and notification that they will be required to produce doctor’s notes by their manager/director; this is not to exceed one year following the last occurrence. (Article 11.3b)

Q: Can I sell back my Sick Time?

A: Yes you can sell back your Sick Time. The rate at which you can sell back your Sick Time is based on date of hire. Employees hired between January 1, 1995 and January 1, 2000 who accumulates a minimum of 240 hours of sick leave may sell back sick time earned in excess of 240 hours on a 2:1 basis (2 sick days for 1 day’s pay). RNs hired on or after January 1, 2000 who accumulate a minimum of 240 hours of sick leave may sell back sick time earned in excess of 240 hours on a 4:1 basis (4 sick days for 1 day’s pay). The maximum sick buy back will be $5250. Payment shall be made on the basis of the RN’s wage rate as of December 1st in the year for which payment is made. (Article 11.5)

Q: Do I receive Bereavement pay?

A: Yes, bereavement pay shall be paid at such RN’s wage rate for 3 working day’ absence in the event of the death of the RN’s mother, father, husband, wife, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, grandchildren, mother-in-law, father-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, current brother-in-law and sister-in-law, stepmother, stepfather, stepchild, or same sex domestic partner who at the time of the request for benefits under this section is covered under the Hospital’s health insurance as established under the criteria. Such 3 days must be taken consecutively and within 7 calendar days of the day of death or day of the funeral and may not be split or postponed. With management approval, a RN may use PTO to either extend bereavement leave or to allow for time off in the event of the death of a relative not mentioned. (Article 12.3)

Jury Duty

Q: What happens if I’m called for Jury Duty?

A: All RNs who have completed their probationary period and who are summoned to serve as jurors will receive their regular rate of pay less their pay as juror for each workday while on jury duty on a one-for-one basis for a maximum period of 4 weeks. The receipt of a subpoena or the notice to report for jury duty must be reported immediately to the Hospital. (Article 12.2)


Q: After how many hours of work am I entitled to a rest period and meal break?

A:  A RN shall be entitled to a paid 15-minute rest period for each 4 hours worked. Also, a RN shall be entitled to 1 unpaid 30-minute meal break per 8 hour shift.  (Article 7.4a & 7.4b)

Staffing & Floating

Q: When would the nursing office notify the unit about having to cancel or float a RN?

A:  Based on the unit’s patient census, acuity, and resulting workload the staffing will be review on a shift by shift basis and staffing will be adjusted according to need. The decision to downsize (floating or canceling a RN) will be made at 5:00am, 1:00pm, 5:00pm, and 9:00pm. (Article 29.2)

Q: How do you decide who floats first?

A: The order in which RN float in is as follows: 1st Volunteer RNs, 2nd Contracted RNs, 3rd Per Diem/Float Pool RNs, 4th Overtime/Extra Shift RNs, and 5th RNs. When it comes to regularly staffed RNs, each unit should have a rotation book where they keep track of the last date that the RN floated and then go by turn. Exceptions to floating include: a RN that is on orientation and a newly licensed RN until after 6 months of employment. (Article 30.1 & 30.5)


Q: When should the work schedule be posted?

A: The Hospital shall post the work schedule at least 4 weeks in advance. (Article 7.5)

Transferring Units

Q: What happens if I have a certification and transfer to a different unit that my certification is not recognized for? (I.e. Having Adult Medical-Surgical Certification and transferring to a Pediatric Unit)

A: RNs who transfer from one unit to another shall maintain their certification pay for 2 years or until the certification expires, whichever occurs earlier. (Article 6.7)


Q: Do I receive a retirement pension?

A: Prior to July 12, 2015, RWJUH contributed for the RNs into PACE Pension “Plan A”. As of July 12, 2015 the RWJUH 403b Retirement Plan replaced the PACE Industry Union Management Fund. For the conversion year of 2015, USW members who have a length of service with RWJUH of less than 5 years and have not vested in the PACE Pension but have met the hours requirement (1000 hours) for service credit as of the end of 2014 will have a lump sum amount equal to the calculated benefit amount added to their RWJUH 403b Retirement Plan account. For further questions regarding PACE Pension, please contact our PACE Pension representative. (Article 15)

Q: When will I be vested into RWJUH 403b?

A: RWJUH 403b plan allows for 100% immediate vesting of all employer contributions. (Article 15)

Q: When does RWJUH start contributing to my 403b?

A: The eligibility criteria for RWJUH to start contributing to a RNs 403b is that the employee must be at least 21 years old and have completed 2 years of service and who work at least 1000 hours per year will be considered vested. Once an employee has vested they will receive the basic contribution and match based on their most recent date of hire for years in which they meet the 1000 hour requirement. (Article 15)

Q: How much will RWJUH contribute and match to my 403b?

A: Based on your years of service determine how much contributions and “matching” RWJUH will do. A chart with the breakdown can be found in our contract, as well as on the RWJUH policy and procedures under retirement.