Monday, July 22

UC, librarians settle on contract


The University of California reached an agreement Monday with
the UC librarians’ union, leaving both sides of the
negotiation table satisfied with the results.

The new contract was agreed upon by the UC and the American
Federation of Teachers on Nov. 17 and will be effective through
Aug. 30, 2006. The contract affects more than 425 librarians.

The contract was agreed upon without any major changes, and was
approved quickly.

“Negotiations tend to be more productive and less
adversarial when there’s mutual respect, a commitment to
resolving differences at the bargaining table, and a willingness to
compromise,” said UC spokesman Paul Schwartz.

The new contract clarified the no-strike provision to include a
special prohibition against sympathy strikes, which is when
librarians would strike in support of another group.

The agreement also calls for a new committee designed to compare
librarians’ salaries with the salaries of other librarians in
California.

“There was no increase in our salaries, but we
successfully set up a committee to agree to look at the
salary-setting mechanism. This committee would ultimately improve
our ability of getting a pay increase,” said Miki Goral,
chief negotiator for UC-AFT librarians’ union.

Goral has been a reference librarian at UCLA since 1970, and
believes that one of the largest changes to come to the
librarians’ contract is the new salary committee.

“The past contract called for a member of the Academic
Senate to be a co-signatory on the project. Through the new
contract we are the independent researchers of our own
projects,” Goral said.

The new contract also standardized the catastrophic-leave
policy, which allows for colleagues to share sick and vacation
time.

“If another librarian is sick with cancer, or a long term
illness, we can share our sick time so that they aren’t out
without pay,” Goral said.

Though the union did not encounter negotiating problems, many
librarians were disappointed that there was no student
participation in approving the new contract.

“The law allows for students to be involved during the
bargaining sessions so that they may give input regarding whether
or not they feel they need our assistance. This year there were no
students involved in the bargaining process,” Goral said.

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