Bargaining Update #7 – March 5, 2024

Group of librarians sit on the steps outside a library on the UC Irvine campus.

Today, your U17 table team met at the Langson Library at UC Irvine. We passed significant contract proposals for salary and benefits. 

UC-AFT Proposals

Article 13 – Salary

UC-AFT’s counter to the lackluster proposal offered by the University on February 8 salary began with a detailed and compelling presentation by Laurel McPhee (UCSD), which outlined the steps required to make UC librarians’ salaries competitive and fair. Our proposal reflects U17 member concerns that U17 salaries continue to fall behind our academic librarian peer groups, particularly considering the cost of living in California. Below are the main highlights. We propose a 4-year contract that provides substantial salary gains upon contract ratification and annually thereafter, plus structural improvements and meaningful “me-too” provisions:  

  • An increase of $8,000 added to every point on the salary scale at contract ratification. This progressive initial boost would be an impactful increase for UC librarians at the lower ranks. 
  • 6% increases applied evenly across the salary schedule on July 1st of each year of the contract.
  • An agreement with the University to remove the bottom two steps from the Assistant and Associate Librarian ranks (although we disagree on striking the bottom two steps of the Librarian rank). 
  • A one-time 3-step salary increase when an Assistant Librarian promotes to Associate Librarian. 
  • A me-too clause to match any general range salary adjustment given to our non-represented librarian peers and colleagues.
  • A guarantee that if non-represented librarians at the top of the Librarian rank can access off-scale salary above the published scale, U17 librarians in the same situation should also be able to access these off-scale increases. 

UC-AFT’s Article 13 counter proposal seeks not only to rectify the current pay imbalance but also to ensure we can recruit and retain qualified librarians to support the UC’s growing student population and academic needs.

Article 14 – Benefits

Let’s face it, California is an expensive place to live. Kendra K. Levine (UCB, and Chief Negotiator) presented our proposal for Article 14 – Benefits. This proposal aims to strengthen some of the health and welfare benefits offered by the University, easing the financial strain for our librarians. 

While the University offers a comprehensive set of benefits for its workers, we recognize that the cost passed on to employees has become a burden, especially for healthcare premiums. In October 2023, the University announced drastic insurance premium increases for all UC workers—up to 193% over 2022 rates for some employees. To protect our members from such egregious rate hikes in the future, we propose a $10/month cap on increases to employee contribution rates. 

We also proposed changes to make U17 librarians eligible for housing benefits that are currently available to other academic appointees, such as Senate Faculty. These benefits vary by campus and could offer some relief to the housing challenges faced by librarians. 

University Proposals

The UC team presented counter proposals on Article 1 – Recognition, Article 21 – Vacation, and Article 32 – Flexible Work Arrangements. We look forward to spending more time reviewing the language in their counter proposals and returning to the table with our counters in the coming weeks. 

Upcoming Bargaining: March 15 on Zoom

Our next bargaining date will be Friday, March 15 on Zoom. That’s next week! We urge all of you to join us. We will be talking about important topics like flexible work arrangements, librarian workload, and the importance of LAUC. Registration information will be shared later this week. Stay tuned! 

Curtailment survey

Be sure to fill out our member survey on winter curtailment if you have not already, and encourage colleagues at your campus to do so. We need your stories – have you been able to successfully make alternative arrangements? Were you denied? Your stories and experiences are important in our fight for this right in bargaining. Please respond to the survey by March 8, 2024.

In solidarity, 

The UC-AFT Unit 17 Table Team

Kendra K. Levine, Bay Area, Chief Negotiator
I-Wei Wang, Bay Area
Timothy Vollmer, Bay Area
Jared Campbell, Davis
Mitchell Brown, Irvine
Xaviera Flores, Los Angeles
Miki Goral, Los Angeles
Rachel Green, Los Angeles
Joy Holland, Los Angeles
Jerrold Shiroma, Merced
Carla Arbagey, Riverside
Michael Yonezawa, Riverside
Tori Maches, San Diego
Laurel McPhee, San Diego
Jenny Reiswig, San Diego
Kristen LaBonte, Santa Barbara
Alix Norton, Santa Cruz
Tamara Pilko, Santa Cruz
Jess Waggoner, Santa Cruz