Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Librarians, UC Reach Impasse In Negotiations

Harrison Dekker, head of the library data lab, is pictured at Doe Library. Negotiations between the union representing the librarians and the university have reached an impasse.
"We can't say that our salaries are OK because the economy is bad," Dekker said. "We are not going to stop negotiating based on that." --Harrison Dekker, local president of the union and a librarian at UC Berkeley

The union representing UC Berkeley librarians and the university declared an impasse in their contract negotiations Wednesday, according to UC spokesperson Paul Schwartz.

UC librarians argue that their salaries are inconsistent with those of others at similar institutions, while university officials say they are unable to raise salaries due to the current budget crisis.

At present, salaries for librarians in the UC system are between $40,000 and $110,000 a year, according to union officials. ...

Among the reasons for the impasse are hiring issues associated with the salaries.

"If our salaries aren't competitive, it's harder to attract and retain new librarians," Dekker said.

Union members said current salaries discourage qualified librarians from taking jobs in the UC system, causing the quality of services to suffer.

The union has tried to raise awareness of these issues through a UC system-wide petition, collecting about 2,000 signatures at UC Berkeley.

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