Tentative Agreement Signed on Furlough Program for Unit 17 Librarians
At 8:30 pm on Wednesday, September 9, 2009, the UC-AFT Librarian Negotiating Team, representing Unit 17 Librarians, and the UC Administration agreed to a furlough program for Unit 17 Librarians. Before describing the details of the program, it is important to emphasize that the decision to recommend a furlough program to our Librarian members was based upon important contextual information:
1) The Negotiating Team had received extremely clear and virtually unanimous support from the librarians on every campus in support of a furlough program if the only other choice was for the University to impose layoffs in order to save the same amount of money from the Librarian Unit as will be saved by the furlough program.
1) UC salaries lag the market. Salaries for UC librarians are significantly below market salaries for professional librarians in California. Currently UC librarians make thousands of dollars a year less than CSU (California State University) librarians for comparable positions. (See Academic Librarian Salary Comparison graph posted on this website.)
At every level, UC librarians are 15% behind their counterparts at CSUs.
For years, UC librarians' pay has lagged well behind that of librarians in the CSU and Community College systems. (See the graph posted previously.) In this round of bargaining over salaries and professional development funding, UC management has offered librarians nothing. Management's bargaining team's explanation is that "Librarians are not a priority at this time." Recently, UC librarians on the campuses have been circulating a petition to support equitable compensation. Now that same petition is available online at
Below please find an article-by-article summary of the changes to the librarian contract negotiated in successor bargaining for the Unit 17 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). A ratification vote will be held at all campuses during the week of March 31-April 4. There will also be a mail ballot option for those unable to vote on their campuses. Only union MEMBERS have the right to vote.
In March, union officers and staff conducted an online workload survey of UC librarians. 144 UC librarians participated systemwide, 31 from Berkeley. Workload surveys are a demanding genre; they raise a lot of sensitive and complex issues, and consume a lot of time! Some librarians took a look, gave up, and went on to the next task in their busy day. So we deeply appreciate the thoughtful responses we did receive from 31 Berkeley librarians. Those responses are summarized here. Note that not all respondents answered all the questions.
In a report released this past Sunday, an independent fact finder recommends raises of almost 25% to bring salaries in line with those at comparable institutions. The CSU faculty, which includes librarians, are in the midst of bargaining and have already voted to strike if a settlement is not reached in the next ten days. The fact finder's report may be read at http://www.calstate.edu/bargaining-status.