UC system librarians win wage increase in new contract

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Librarians and other members of the University Council-American Federation of Teachers, or UC-AFT, have entered into a five-year contract with the university that guarantees salary increases.

A tentative agreement between the university and UC-AFT was reached Thursday, and the union officially voted to approve it Monday. According to a UC-AFT agreement summary, Thursday’s agreement will result in initial salary increases of 8.6 percent for assistants and associates and a 5.6 percent increase for librarians. According to the summary, librarians will also be receiving a 3 percent wage increase annually for the next five years.

“I think it’s a very strong agreement for the librarians,” said Martin Brennan, a member of the Librarian Table Team for the UC-AFT. “We’re really happy to have won the salary agreements.”

The new memorandum of understanding is officially in effect, according to the UC-AFT’s announcement, and the agreement will last until March 2024.

UC spokesperson Sarah McBride said in an email that the university expressed support for the new agreement.

“The university is pleased to come to an agreement with UC-AFT and believes this fair agreement recognizes the contributions of our dedicated librarians,” McBride said in the email.

According to the UC-AFT press release, the vote to ratify the agreement had a 94 percent voter turnout from members, and the agreement was approved with a 98 percent margin. According to Brennan, the UC-AFT had significant support from both the librarians and “many other unions.”

According to Brennan, the agreement does not improve work conditions for temporary librarians or provide for changes to professional development programs for librarians.

“(The university) didn’t budge on professional development. … They didn’t improve conditions for temporary librarians, but we will continue those battles,” Brennan said.

The agreement is especially impactful for assistants and associates, who will each receive a total of 25.9 percent of guaranteed cumulative benefits over the next five years, in comparison to librarians, who will receive a total of 22.4 percent.

The UC-AFT’s announcement also highlighted the upcoming April 17 UC-AFT Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty negotiations that will take place at UC Davis. According to the announcement, the negotiations will concern wages, benefits and classroom conditions.

“When we fight, we win,” Brennan said. “We hope that all the other bargaining units that are fighting keep fighting.”

The new agreement also coincided with the proposal of the Academic Personnel Manual Section 011, or APM-011. APM-011 provides for the extension of policies that ensure academic freedom beyond faculty members to nonfaculty academic appointees such as librarians.

According to a letter announcing the proposal of APM-011 by Vice Provost forAcademic Personnel and Programs Susan Carlson, previous manuals did not explicitly address how these rights applied to nonfaculty academic appointees. APM-011 aims to explicitly extend these principles.

“APM – 011 affirms that the protections and responsibilities under these policies extend to all academic appointees when they are engaged in teaching, research, scholarship, or the public dissemination of knowledge,” Carlson wrote in the letter.

Contact Ben Klein at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @BenKlein_dc‏.

Clarification(s):
A previous version of this article may have implied that the upcoming April 17 union negotiations were a continuation of the negotiations surrounding the recently passed five-year contract. In fact, the April 17 negotiations are related to UC-AFT Unit 18 Non-Senate Faculty.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the five-year contract was a tentative agreement. In fact, the contract has officially gone into effect.