The University of California announced today (Nov. 15, 2013) that UC’s 350 librarians have ratified a five-year contract that includes a new salary structure, health benefits and other working conditions.
The agreement is the culmination of 18 months of negotiations between UC and the American Federation of Teachers, a union that represents about 1.5 million members nationwide.
Earlier this year, UC and the librarians reached a separate agreement on post-employment benefits, in which the librarians agreed to the same pension changes that currently apply to 16 UC bargaining units and about 75,000 non-represented faculty and staff.
The agreement ratified this month with librarians include:
- A new salary scale that provides wage adjustments averaging 2.7 percent across the salary scale, retroactive to Nov. 1, 2013; establishes uniformity in merit-based increases and gives the university greater flexibility in terms of salaries to recruit and retain quality librarians.
- Medical, dental and vision care at the same rates that the general UC employee population pays. The university will continue to cover the majority of health care costs.
- Revised language regarding temporary librarians that specifies when a temporary employee becomes a career librarian.
We need to spend the next five years, working on building up our organizational strength as a unit at the campus level. We need to have active librarian stewards on every campus and more collective discussions of how we can work together to make UC-AFT a stronger union and UC Libraries once again the envy of the world. There are many problems related to the reorganizations, including workload, that are perhaps best addressed at the local campus level where union solidarity can make a difference in the daily work lives of our members. This is something that we can accomplish if we work together on it.
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