Bargaining Update #10 — Mediation Session on March 24, 2009

Nine members of the Unit 17 negotiating committee met with the UC team in a mediation session on March 24, 2009. Pursuant to HEERA (the collective bargaining law for higher education), the actual content of the mediation is confidential.

We can say that the session was productive and that the state-appointed mediator helped to move both parties away from the impasse we had reached on salary and professional development funding. We have agreed to a second mediation session, which has tentatively been scheduled for Friday, April 17.

The Unit 17 Bargaining Committee with be meeting on April 4 at the Sheraton Gateway at LAX to consider these latest developments and to move forward with our broader project of organizing.

In addition, please see below for the text of Bargaining Committee member Michael Yonezawa’s strong statement to the UC Regents sitting in Committee of the Whole at the Regents’ Meeting at UCR on March 18, 2009:

“Good Morning, my name is Michael Yonezawa and I am a UCR Librarian and member of the UC-AFT.

We have been told by UC Administration that, “Librarians [and apparently libraries] are not a priority for UC at the current time.”

At the bargaining table, UC offered us an insulting zero % salary increase. Yet, UC has billions of dollars in unrestricted funds.

After decades of ignoring the need for increases in librarian compensation, UC Librarians are now a minimum of 15% behind comparable pay for librarians in the California State University system and are paid less than most community college librarians and librarians at public libraries for comparable work.

Low salaries for UC Librarians have resulted in serious recruitment and retention problems on virtually every UC campus.

Underfunding of UC Libraries hurts the quality of our collections and services and in turn affects the quality of the research and instructional mission of the University.

The “Open Book” on the UC Seal symbolizes the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge by the University. The UC Libraries and the people who make the Libraries function are critical to the physical embodiment of that symbol.

Regents, show your allegiance and support fair wages for ALL employees who are committed to making UC a world class university.

Thank you.”

Karen Sawislak
Executive Director

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