Update on Status of Unit 17 Bargaining

To Unit 17:

As you may know, the Lecturers (Unit 18) have just completed reopener bargaining. We are very pleased to report that Unit 18 has secured substantial gains in the area of salary and workload. Now, the next major project for UC-AFT is bargaining for a successor contract for the librarian unit.

As you can see, we have established a blog for formal union announcements concerning the bargaining process:  http://unit17negotiations.blogspot.com

You will receive messages from UC-AFT staff with links to the blog whenever it is updated. While we hope that librarians will continue to make use of the google groups e-mail list, we recognize that inboxes can get very cluttered. We therefore want to have a single method and location for formal communication from the union in regard to the bargaining process. Please bookmark this location and check it regularly.

We write today to update you on the status of the union’s preparations and advise you of opportunities for participating in this process:

  1. Labor-Management meetings in preparation for bargaining will occur on each campus in October/early November. In preparation for bargaining, UC-AFT and UCOP have agreed to labor-management meetings at each campus. These meetings will be a forum for the broad discussion of the issues and problems that confront UC libraries and librarians. UC-AFT will be working with members at each local to determine the agenda for these meetings. Please watch for opportunities to get involved in the preparations for your campus meeting.
  2. Structure of Bargaining Committee At the last UC-AFT Council meeting in July, the Council approved a plan for Unit 17 bargaining. Under this plan, each local will designate two members as representatives to the Unit 17 Bargaining Committee. The Bargaining Committee, pursuant to the UC-AFT By-Laws, will have the responsibility of developing specific bargaining proposals. The negotiating team (members who attend the negotiating sessions) will be drawn from the Bargaining Committee. Locals have been asked to work on selecting their Bargaining Committee representatives.
  3. Appointment of Chief Negotiator After consultation with the Council and local members, UC-AFT President Bob Samuels, has asked UCSC Lecturer Mike Rotkin to serve as the Chief Negotiator for Unit 17. Rotkin has been Chief Negotiator for Unit 18 for many years and has long years of experience in dealing with UCOP. Rotkin will convene the Unit 17 Bargaining Committee and will be designated as the unit’s chief spokesperson at the negotiating table.
  4. Dates for Regional meetings: October 6 (UCB) and October 13 (UCLA) The union will convene regional meetings of Unit 17 members on two consecutive Saturdays in early October. We expect that the meetings will last for 2-3hours. Bargaining Committee representatives should plan to attend at least one of these meetings and all other interested members are welcome. At these regional meetings, members will discuss the content of specific bargaining proposals and will decide on the actual process for further preparations and negotiations (i.e., methods of communication, number of members who will serve on the negotiations team, etc.).
  5. Issues to Negotiate Unit 17 members have been meeting throughout the summer at every campus to discuss possible bargaining proposals. In addition, there have been some lively discussions over e-mail Below is a partial list of subjects that have been identified as areas where the union will submit (or may submit) proposals, per the determination of the Bargaining Committee:
    • Salary!!! — need for great improvement of lower end of range; problems with lack of equity caused by initial hiring to advanced steps; increases to keep pace with cost of living and higher cost of benefits.
    • Professional development — lack of support for professional development; attempts by management to limit academic freedom of librarians.
    • Workload — burdens of inadequate staffing; additional “interim assignments,” inadequate recognition of duties created by new demands for instruction. Some possible proposals for workload (there is no current contract language on this subject): automatic bump in compensation for duration of interim assignments; required workload evaluation/adjustment meetings; right to devote specific percentage of time to academic pursuits; right to work remotely; end to practice of drafting Statements of Responsibility after additional duties assumed and completed — so no credit during review periods for increased workload; workload study committee process at each campus (following model of Unit 18 workload study process begun in 2003…?)
    • Protection of the Unit — must end UC’s practice of creating “librarian-like” positions in MSP series as a way to evade need to address the salary scale.
    • Sabbatical — provision of paid leave for support of work required of librarians as academic appointees. Another possible proposal: conversion of any above-cap accrued vacation time to sabbatical leave?
    • Vacation — Higher cap for accrual of vacation time, before it is lost.
    • Campus-sponsored Housing Assistance and Child Care programs — Parity with Senate Faculty at all locations.
    • Child care assistance program and tuition assistance program — grants to subsidize cost of child care and tuition at UCs for children of unit members.
    • Strengthened Grievance Rights — management decisions re: librarians’ choice of their academic program must be grievable — i.e., unreasonable denials of permission to attend specific conferences critical to librarian’s academic program. Also, need grievance rights on unreasonable denials of “alternative arrangements” during library closures and non-discrimination language must be fully grievable.
    • Introduction of process for dismissal of a career-status librarian (to track Unit 18 process for dismissal for academic performance — very, very onerous for management!!)
    • Paid release time for Unit 17 UC-AFT grievance stewards at each campus.
    • Establish process for adequate crediting of time for required shifts on evening/weekends/hoildays.
    • etc.. plus, whatever else the Bargaining Committee determines to propose prior to deadline for exchange of proposals.


  1. Timetable for Bargaining:

through September — scheduling of and preparations for on-campus Labor-Management meetings; selection of Bargaining Committee members at each local; continued discussion of potential proposals; continued work on communication and outreach re: librarian issues.

through October and early November — UCOP/UC-AFT Labor-Management meetings at each campus.

Oct. 6 (at UCB) and Oct. 13 (at UCLA) — regional meetings of Bargaining Committee members, and any other interested Unit 17 members.

after October 13 — conference calls among Bargaining Committee to continue to develop proposals and bargaining strategies/in-person meetings as needed.

December 1 — deadline for exchange of proposals with UC (moved back one month from Nov. 1 deadline now in MOU to accommodate Labor-Management meetings).

by Dec. 20 — first official bargaining session.  January 2008 onwards: on-going bargaining sessions, to be scheduled in advance to allow for regular meetings at least every two weeks.

March 31, 2008 — expiration of Unit 17 MOU.

Please feel free to be in touch with any questions or comments. Also, please remember that you must be a union member to participate in bargaining — if you are unsure of your membership status or wish to join, please contact your local field representative.

Karen Sawislak

UC-AFT Executive Director



Bob Samuels

UC-AFT President


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