Friday, October 19, 2018

"Academic Librarians and Labor Unions: Attitudes and Experiences," by Chloe Mills and Ian McCullough.

Mills, Chloe, and Ian McCullough. (2018). "Academic Librarians and Labor Unions: Attitudes and Experiences," portal: Libraries and the Academy, Vol. 18, No. 4: pp.805 - 829.

This research project investigates librarians' attitudes toward unions and collective bargaining through data collected from a nationwide survey of 359 academic librarians in the United States. We found that academic librarians have a generally positive view of unions and collective bargaining agreements, a notable result in a national political atmosphere that is demonstrably anti-union. Union membership is strongly bound to faculty status. Our research results imply that unionization and collective bargaining provide stronger job protections and higher wages than faculty status alone, and suggest that discussions of faculty status in academic libraries may not have provided the best possible way to enhance the status of our profession.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Seattle General Strike-1919

"We are undertaking the most tremendous move ever made by LABOR in this country, a move which will lead-NO ONE KNOWS WHERE!" With these words echoing throughout the city, on February 6, 1919, 65,000 Seattle workers began one of the most important general strikes in US history. For six tense yet nonviolent days, the Central Labor Council negotiated with federal and local authorities on behalf of the shipyard workers whose grievances initiated the citywide walkout. Meanwhile, strikers organized to provide essential services such as delivering supplies to hospitals and markets, as well as feeding thousands at union-run dining facilities.

Robert L. Friedheim's classic account of the dramatic events of 1919, first published in 1964 and now enhanced with a new introduction, afterword, and photo essay by James N. Gregory, vividly details what happened and why. Overturning conventional understandings of the American Federation of Labor as a conservative labor organization devoted to pure and simple unionism, Friedheim shows the influence of socialists and the IWW in the city's labor movement. While Seattle's strike ended in disappointment, it led to massive strikes across the country that determined the direction of labor, capital, and government for decades. The Seattle General Strike is an exciting portrait of a Seattle long gone and of events that shaped the city's reputation for left-leaning activism into the twenty-first century.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

UC librarians reject contract extension, propose higher salaries

After more than 16 months of preparation and six months at the bargaining table, UC librarians are still in negotiations with the UC system. In a press release from Oct. 9, a union representing the librarians rejected the UC’s request to extend their current contract, which expired Oct. 1.
The University Council-American Federation of Teachers, or UC-AFT — the union representing the librarians — proposed changes to 20 out of 34 of the contract’s articles and proposed the addition of two articles. The UC has dismissed all of these proposals, according to the union’s press release.
UC spokesperson Danielle Smith said the university’s goal is to reach a long-term agreement with the UC-AFT, including competitive pay, health care and retirement benefits.
“UC remains committed to working diligently and in good faith with UC-AFT to reach an agreement as soon as possible,”  Smith said in an email.
The UC-AFT represents about 350 librarians from all 10 UC campuses, roughly 85 of whom work at UC Berkeley or UCSF, according to Kendra Levine, a librarian at the campus Institute of Transportation Studies and member of the union. UC-AFT’s demands include improved salary, academic freedom — referring to one’s freedom to pursue their own research — sabbatical leave and more.
“The only reason I can afford to be a librarian at Berkeley is because I have a partner who has a high-paying job, and he subsidizes me working at Berkeley,” Levine said.
In order to have diversity within the staff, the UC needs to pay sustainable wages, Levine said. Currently, librarians employed by the California State University system and California community colleges are paid higher salaries than UC librarians.
Smith said the UC system has presented several “favorable” proposals to UC librarians, including an enhanced wage structure.
The UC has proposed a wage structure whereby salaries go up by 3 percent, 2 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent over the next 4 years, according to the union’s website. UC-AFT, however, said these percent increases are below the annual inflation rate and do not address the disparity experienced by early-career librarians, according to their website. UC-AFT had proposed during bargaining that there be a $3,500 lump sum raise across the board for a three-year contract, Levine said.
Levine said academic freedom, another of the union’s demands, is also key to librarians’ work.
“It is important for us to be able to research and be critical and be part of that research ecosystem, so we asked for that to be written into our contract,” Levine said. “We’re not going to back down on this.”
The next scheduled bargaining meeting will take place Oct. 19 on campus.
John de los Angeles, a spokesperson for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME — the UC workers’ union — said that over the last several years, workers represented by AFSCME have had to strike for each contract round to get what they believe is a “fair” deal.
Bargaining has been scheduled through November, and the UC-AFT is trying to set up more meetings if possible.
“We will see how it goes,” Levine said. “I’m really hopeful.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Jennifer Dorning Becomes President of the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE),

Jennifer Dorning Becomes President of the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), First Woman to Lead an AFL-CIO Trade Department

The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) announced at the end of August this year, that DPE Assistant to the President Jennifer Dorning will become its next president, succeeding Paul E. Almeida who retired last month. Dorning was unanimously elected by the DPE Executive Committee in April 2018 to carry out the remaining three years of Almeida’s term. Dorning took office on September 1, 2018, becoming the third president and the first woman to lead DPE in its 40-plus year history. As the first female president of DPE, Dorning will also become the first woman to lead an AFL-CIO trade department. Dorning has served as a member of the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) Salaries and Status of Library Workers committee and chair of the ALA-APA Unions subcommittee.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Something’s wrong with a public university system that rewards University Librarians and other library administrators with cumulative average pay increases of 32 percent over the last five years, while the last contract for rank-and-file librarians only guaranteed 8 percent.

From--UC-AFT, the union representing librarians (Unit 17) and non-Senate faculty (Unit 18) working throughout the UC system.  Our members hold academic appointments as lecturers, program coordinators, supervisors of teacher education, and librarians.

Something’s wrong with a public university system that rewards University Librarians and other library administrators with cumulative average pay increases of 32 percent over the last five years, while the last contract for rank-and-file librarians only guaranteed 8 percent.

 For more information, visit our UC-AFT website.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

9/21 Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day

9/21 Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day

On September 21st, CELEBRATE Libraries for Peace (L4P) Day in observation of International Day of Peace with the world community.

Librarians, libraries and friends are INVITED to:
  1. ADD your celebration to the L4P map.  Tour the map to find celebrations worldwide.
  2. Use SOCIAL MEDIA to share your event with the hashtags #librariesforpeace #peaceday
The International Day of Peace is observed around the world each year on September 21st. The United Nations General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme for the International Day of Peace in 2018 is “The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70”.  The theme celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

On the Radio: UCSB Librarians on Bargaining and Academic Freedom.

Several UCSB librarians sat down with a reporter from KCSB radio to record an interview about bargaining, and they did a great job representing our bargaining effort, particularly on the salary and academic freedom issues. Give it a listen!

and remember to sign the petition in support of academic freedom.

                                                         Thanks, GC.