Librarian Bargaining Update: Tentative Agreement Reached!
Dear Fellow Union Librarians,
Your librarian bargaining team met with UCOP Labor Relations on Monday, October 17 to present our counter-proposal to their latest offer. As you may recall, UC offered us a 1% base salary increase (with no retroactive pay from July 1) and no additional funding for professional development. Our counter-offer was for a 4% increase and $1500 per librarian in PD funding.
After breaking for lunch, UC came back with an offer of a 1.5% salary increase (again with no retroactive pay) and a guarantee that any raises given to non-represented librarians in 2017 would be automatically matched for the bargaining unit, but with absolutely no movement on professional development funds. Since they declared “in no uncertain terms” that the 1.5% offer was as far as they were empowered to raise the salaries, we were prepared to stop bargaining and go to impasse. To avoid this, UC improved their offer: the same salary increase with retroactive pay, and a 5% increase to PD funds per campus. After a lengthy discussion of this offer among your bargaining team members, we decided to accept. Our chief negotiator Axel Borg and UCOP’s negotiator Peter Chester shook hands, and we reached a tentative agreement.
We understand that this falls short of our needs and desires. We know that many of you, like us, were hoping for a larger increase to our salaries and more professional development funding. Our bargaining team was in a difficult position from the beginning because the UC did not open any articles; we were left with nothing to bargain against. After careful consideration, we felt that this was the best offer under the circumstances. Continuing to bargain to the point of impasse would draw out the current negotiations and we would lose our retroactive pay, with little confidence we could get any greater increase at this time.
As modest as these gains are, they are a step forward. This offer also lays a good foundation for successor bargaining, when our entire contract will be open and hence we will be in a stronger bargaining position. It is important to remember that we will start planning for this in less than one year, as negotiations can open as early as February 1, 2018. Let’s not lose the momentum we have been building, and continue to emphasize the need for equitable salaries and adequate professional development funding. As we look forward to the next bargaining, you can get involved. The first step:
- Attend the next UC-AFT Council meeting on October 30 at the Oakland CFT Offices to help strategize for successor bargaining. Travel expenses are paid & meals provided; contact Miki Goral (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to attend.
Finally, the tentative agreement we reached with UC will not be effective until you vote to approve it. Stay tuned for additional e-mails about the ratification vote.
Your Bargaining Team