UC-AFT/UCOP Tentative Agreement – Now We Need Your Ratification

Your table team met with UCOP at UC Berkeley on Monday, March 25th, for our 17th bargaining session. During the morning session, UCOP presented a complete package of articles as a counter-proposal to our package proposed at the last session.  UCOP laid out their proposals, wrapping up by noon.  The Table Team worked through lunch discussing UCOP’s proposal in depth and made a series of counter-proposals. We arrived at a mutually agreed upon package of proposals that were tentatively agreed upon (TA’d). To complete this as our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU, aka “The Contract”), we need your ratification vote.   

Elements of the Tentative Agreement

Duration – We agreed to a 5-year contract with guaranteed salary increases. If ratified, the new contract will expire March 31, 2024.

Salary – In response to member feedback on the importance of salaries, including the need for targeted support at the Assistant and Associate ranks (2017 Fall member survey), we are pleased to announce a salary proposal that guarantees annual increases for all represented librarians, with a total cumulative benefit of approximately 22-26% over five years. The details include:

  • First, the University and UC-AFT agreed to an initial recalibration of the salary scales. The recalibration will result in initial salary increases of 8.6% for Assistants and Associates and 5.6% for Librarians, effective the first day of the monthly pay cycle, no later than sixty days following written notice of ratification. The recalibration achieves the following:
    • Restructures the overlapping points to match between ranks
    • Applies a uniform 2.7% increment between the top two points of the Librarian rank to match the rest of the structure and to eliminate compression at the top point
    • Adds two salary points to the top of the scale and removes two salary points from the bottom of the scale at the Assistant and Associate ranks
    • Adds one salary point to the top of the scale and removes one salary point from the bottom of the scale at the Librarian rank
    • Maps all librarians from their current salary point on the 2017 scale to the same relative salary point on the new “Ratification Scale.” The points have been given alphabetical identification markers for clarity.
    • Applies a 3% range adjustment to the resulting Ratification Scale, completing the recalibration.
    • If we ratify by April 1st, the recalibration will take effect starting June 1 2019, and will be reflected in your July 1st paycheck.
  • Following the recalibration, all librarians at every rank will receive annual increases of 3% at the turn of the next five fiscal years, in July of 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. These increases will be reflected in your August paychecks each year.
  • Total guaranteed cumulative benefit over the length of the new contract:
    • Assistant: 25.9%
    • Associate: 25.9%
    • Librarian: 22.4%
    • Librarians at the top of the scale: 24.6% (due to increase of top point)

Questions? See our FAQ and talk to your local Table Team or Statewide Committee member to review spreadsheets documenting the updated salary scale.

Incorporation of Academic Freedom Policy Protections

We proposed academic freedom as an added article in the MOU. Union member activism and massive public backlash against UCOP’s stated denial of academic freedom for librarians led UCOP to commence a policy-making process to address academic freedom rights and responsibilities for all academic appointees.  We understand the policy will be released for a mandatory 90-day system-wide review in the very near future. We heard enough about the policy framework that we are confident it will not only enshrine the academic freedom librarians need, but will also accomplish this for our colleagues in other academic titles. Of course, we reserve judgment on the merits of the proposed policy until we see it. We are one of many stakeholders eager to contribute to the coming system-wide review, to ensure the policy protects academic freedom in a manner befitting the reputation of the University of California.

We pressed for assurances to protect our members’ academic freedom while this process completes. A side letter to the MOU, which would be included in ratification, ensures that the upcoming policy will apply to members of our bargaining unit.  Additionally, during the period between ratification of this contract and the day the policy is fully implemented, any academic freedom disputes that arise may be addressed (through the policy’s grievance provisions) if filed within 30 days of the new policy’s implementation.  This essentially provides Unit 17 librarians, upon ratification of the contract, the academic freedom protections afforded by the upcoming policy.

Temporary Librarians

We largely accepted contract language from the prior MOU, but gained some procedural concessions from UCOP that will help UC-AFT learn of, and work to prevent, further abuses. UC-AFT remains deeply concerned about this issue and is committed to continue fighting. We recognize that abuse of the previous MOU’s provisions on temporary librarians has been a bigger problem at some campuses than others. The grievance around the six temporary archivists at UCLA Special Collections is now headed to arbitration, and we hope that process leads to change in UCLA’s approach to the situation.  UC-AFT will closely monitor UC management’s handling of temporary positions on all campuses going forward, and use the grievance process to address inequities.

Professional Development (PD)

Despite data showing that the prior MOU’s PD funding  allocation to the campuses was wholly inadequate and unequally distributed, UCOP insisted their salary proposal was the limit of the University’s economic resources, and refused to increase PD amounts.  They did, however, agree to language that guarantees that UCOP-provided funding be allocated on a per capita basis at each campus. In effect, we got no additional funding, but established the principle of per capita allocation.  Increasing that amount will be a fight for future negotiations. We are confident that the campus LAUC divisions will continue their ongoing work to ensure adequate PD funding for all librarians.

Other key changes achieved in the new contract

  • 10-day advance notification of new job responsibilities now required for transfers and reassignments.
  • If a librarian gets sick during a planned vacation, they have the right to use sick time instead of vacation time.
  • Up to 30 days of accrued sick leave can be used for Parental Leave (aka “baby bonding” leave during the period after the birth or adoption of a child).
  • Denials of flexible work arrangements requests must now be in writing with reasons given that are not arbitrary or capricious.  Appeals can be made to Library Human Resources.
  • In reviews, candidates (instead of only the RI) may request an off-cycle review, and all evaluative comments must be provided to the candidate for response.
  • Documents regarding disciplinary actions (as specified in Article 23) in a librarian’s personnel file may be removed after two years and cannot be used to support disciplinary action, provided that no repeat of the same or similar misconduct occurs within two years.

As is typical in negotiations, we conceded on a number of issues in order to reach agreement, but those issues can be revisited when contract negotiations begin again in four years. These include:

  • Sabbatical
  • Principal Investigator status
  • Eligibility for housing assistance programs
  • Grievability for denials of flexible work arrangements

In conclusion, based on our extensive conversations on each campus, we preferenced increasing salary for all members — especially those at the Assistant and Associate levels.  We secured additional gains in the areas of academic freedom, use of sick leave for family bonding, procedural protections in areas relating to temporary appointments and transfers/re-assignments, as well as around grievances and discipline.  We believe this tentative agreement addresses many of the concerns you raised. We strongly encourage you to vote “YES” on ratification.

Ratification Vote Instructions

Each UC-AFT Unit 17 member will soon receive an anonymous ballot via SurveyMonkey to ratify the contract. The deadline to submit your vote is Noon Pacific Daylight Time on Monday, April 1st, 2019.  PLEASE CHECK YOUR WORK AND PERSONAL EMAILS as the ballot email may come to either. Please email Dominique Turnbow if you have not received a ballot by close of business Wednesday.  

Proudly, In Solidarity,

Your UC-AFT Librarian Table Team

David Eifler, Berkeley

I-Wei Wang, Berkeley

Axel Borg, Davis (Chief Negotiator)

Mitchell Brown, Irvine

Martin Brennan, Los Angeles

Miki Goral, Los Angeles

Carla Arbagey, Riverside

Laurel McPhee, San Diego

Dominique Turnbow, San Diego

Cristela Garcia-Spitz, San Diego

Kristen LaBonte, Santa Barbara

Ken Lyons, Santa Cruz


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