Bargaining Update #9 – April 16, 2024

After a short break since our last bargaining, your UC-AFT librarian table team returned to the table today at UC Berkeley Law. We passed four proposals, and the University passed two. Remember that “passing a proposal” means sharing our suggested changes to contract language across the bargaining table. There are often several counter proposals that go back and forth between the parties until final language (the tentative agreement) is decided upon as part of the collective bargaining process. 

We were joined by many Unit 17 members who observed the session and showed their solidarity (and shared lunch) outside in the springtime sun on the Berkeley campus. Read on below for updates from the day. 

UC-AFT Proposals

Article 2 – Nondiscrimination

We passed our updated proposal to incorporate the Abusive Conduct in the Workplace Policy (created in 2022) and the Anti-Discrimination Policy (recently issued to replace the Discrimination, Harassment, and Affirmative Action policy), so that unit members have the option to pursue a union grievance as well as policy-based procedures for violations of these University-wide policies. The proposal also updates references and language parallel to the current Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy. We propose that the grievance procedure should not be automatically held in abeyance (put on “pause”) while the allegations are under review by University offices charged with enforcing the policies. Ultimately, our goal is to help impel thorough and speedy processes to investigate and resolve issues and violations.

Article 10 – UC-AFT Rights and Article 12 – Payroll (formerly Dues) Deductions

These two were relatively technical counter proposals, mainly updating and aligning our language with current processes for payroll and communication. (Goodbye fax machines and FTP!) We also countered the University’s position that imposes on UC-AFT the sometimes unreasonable costs of simple updates to UC Path and payroll corrections.

Article 21 – Vacation

We passed a counterproposal centered on the ability to work remotely over winter curtailment. This is important to us as exempt employees and as professionals and academics. Our winter curtailment survey surfaced disparities: while most librarians  seem to generally have their requests for alternative arrangements approved, some reported that their requests for alternative arrangements were strongly discouraged and or rejected. It was also reported that at a couple campuses that most or all requests were routinely denied. While the approach to approving work over curtailment varies significantly across campuses, the responsibilities of librarians and our criteria for review and movement through the ranks remain the same. Sadly, some librarians reported taking vacation days but working anyway because their request to work was denied—deadlines don’t disappear just because of winter curtailment, and many of us are facing severe workload issues. 

Librarians, as academics, have varied work that can include instruction, research, publishing, and professional commitments. We should be trusted to apply our professional judgment in meeting our deadlines, identifying optimal times to complete our work, and performing this work when it needs to be done—even if that falls during winter curtailment.

University Proposals

Article 7 – Assignments, Transfers and Reassignments

The University passed a counter proposal that accepted our concept that review initiators should meet with librarians to discuss additional duties being assigned, including the end date of the new duties/assignment if they are interim. However, the University’s proposed language rejected our stipulation that the review initiator should also discuss which duties would be reduced to accommodate the additional workload. We will continue to fight for language in this article that will protect librarians from excessive and unreasonable workload demands and will provide meaningful pathways for appeals. 

Article 25 – Arbitration

The University passed a counter proposal agreeing  to many of our technical and timing changes. We’ll be looking at its counter proposal in greater detail.

Discussion of Article 29 – Waiver 

Both parties discussed the waiver article, and it’s clear that the relationship between the Academic Personnel Manual (APM), the Librarians Association of the University of California (LAUC), and UC-AFT is complex. We will continue to seek ways to ensure the continued and productive contributions of both UC-AFT and LAUC on key matters that affect UC librarians. 

Upcoming Bargaining: May 3 on Zoom

We will reconvene for Zoom bargaining on May 3, 2024. The University will host the session, so we will provide a signup link as soon as we can. After that, our next bargaining sessions will take place in-person at UCLA on May 14, and on Zoom on May 30. Stay tuned!

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