Bargaining Update #2 — December 19, 2007

Library Bargaining Update
December 20, 2007

The UC-AFT Library Negotiating Team met for our first bargaining session with the University yesterday, December 19, 2007 at the Office of the President in Oakland. Following introductions of the members of the two teams, the UC-AFT explained why we had taken the extraordinary step of sending a letter of concern about the University Administration’s initial proposal to our members, the ALA, UC President Dynes and Vice President Judy Boyette, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the California media. Making clear that our members may have misinterpreted the intent of the Administration, we voiced the wide-spread dismay among our members over proposals that at least appear to be moving toward a deprofessionalization of Unit 17 Librarians. At the same time, we made it very clear that we are prepared for serious and good faith bargaining with the Administration.

During the rest of the day, each of the two parties at the table presented their initial proposals for changes to Article 1: Recognition, Article 2: Discrimination, and Article 3: Professional Activities and Development. The University Administration presented their proposal for changes to Article 4: Process of Merit Increase, Promotion, and Career Status. After each side presented and explained their proposals, the other side asked questions to clarify the intent of and motivation for each proposed change.

The discussion was relatively informal and cordial. It is clear that many of the Articles are interrelated and it will not be possible to begin the serious give and take of bargaining until both sides understand how the proposals for the various articles relate to each other. It is still too early to have much of a sense of how bargaining will shape up, but the Administration team attempted to make it very clear that they are not intending to “deprofessionalize” Librarians or change the status of Librarians as academic employees. They are attempting to create “an abbreviated” review process for some types of reviews, but were quick to assure the UC-AFT team that even this abbreviated process would include some form of peer review. Whether the proposed changes to the review process indeed represent a threat to the professional status of librarians will only become fully clear with further discussion and the exchange of counter-proposals.

The implications of the University’s initial proposal to replace the current step system for salaries with a new range system will also only become clearer with further discussion and when we see how these proposed changes relate to the salary article. Although our work yesterday was confined to clarifying what the proposals mean and how they might work in practice, both sides reserved the right to reject the conceptual approach embodied in the proposed changes once we are clearer on their implications.

The UC-AFT agreed to further clarify what we meant by adding “family status” to the list protected classes in the article on discrimination.

We have many more articles to go through just with the initial presentation from each side and questions for clarification before we begin serious bargaining and the exchange of counter-proposals. We did agree on an impressive list of dates for future bargaining – which signals the serious intent of both parties to work hard until we have an agreement we can present to our members in Unit 17.

The following are our tentative bargaining dates and locations:

Monday, January 14 at UCI 10-5
Wednesday, January 23 at UCOP (in Oakland) 10-5
Friday, February 1 at UCOP 10-4
Monday, February 4 at UCI 10-5
Friday, February 22 at UCOP 10-4
Monday, March 3 at UCI 10-5
Wednesday, March 12 at UCOP 10-5
Thursday, March 20 at either UCI or UCSD
Monday, March 31 at UCOP 10-5 (or whenever we can wrap up the MOU if we are close.

I want to thank the Negotiating Team members for their dedication and a successful first day of bargaining.

The Negotiating Team includes:

Mike Rotkin, Chief Negotiator
Harrison Decker, UCB
Ken Firestein, UCD
Michelle Jacobs, UCLA
Mitchell Brown, UCI
Steve Mitchell, UCR
Chimene Tucker, UCSB
Ken Lyons, UCSC
Karen Sawislak, Exec. Dir, UC-AFT
Miki Goral, Chief Negotiator Emerita

The UC Negotiating Team includes the following individuals:

Deanna Dudley, Chief Negotiator, UCOP Labor Relations
Myron Okada, UCOP Labor Relations
Mark Westlye, UCOP Academic Advancement
Debra Harrington, UCB Labor Relations
Elizabeth Leavitt, UCB Academic Personnel
Kathleen van den Heuvel, Director of UCB (Boalt) Law Library
Kate McGirr, UCSC AUL
David Rios, UCR AUL
Deborah Sunday, UCI AUL
Lori Trofemuk, UCSD Labor Relations

We will issue bargaining updates after each session and consult regularly with the larger Bargaining Committee (two Librarians from each campus) about any major changes from our initial proposals or any movement toward the University’s proposals.

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