Tuesday, April 21, 2009

UC System Restarts Salary Talks With Librarians

"The message is that libraries and librarians need to be a much higher priority for UC management."

The Daily Californian Online
UC System Restarts Salary Talks With Librarians
By Robert Gandapermana
Monday, April 20, 2009

The university met with a union representing about 400 UC librarians on Friday to negotiate salary and professional development funding.

The meeting was the second mediated session since an impasse was declared in February, after salary negotiations between the American Federation of Teachers and the university resumed last November.

The two parties have not come to an agreement, and negotiations will continue, said Howard Pripas, UC director of labor relations.

"What we've been trying to do with the librarians is to try to help them on the lower end of the salary scale," he said, referring to agreements ratified last April that included equity increases for lower-paid librarians.

But Michelle Squitieri, a local representative of the union, said since November the university has offered a 1 percent increase in professional development funding, with no increase in salary.

Squitieri said UC librarians want equal pay with librarians in the California State University system, but have proposed a slightly lower salary scale in negotiations.

"The reality is that UC librarians make on average about 17 percent less than Cal State librarians, who are in the same type of work," said Harrison Dekker, local president of the union.

At present, salaries for librarians in the UC system are between $55,000 and $120,000, according to union officials. Pripas said librarians in the CSU system are not appropriate for comparison, and steps have been made toward pay equity.

Squitieri said UC librarians have launched a statewide campaign to raise awareness for their cause.

"The message is that libraries and librarians need to be a much higher priority for UC management," she said.

Pripas said that the university is trying to appropriately compensate all employees, including unionized workers under AFSCME Local 3299, which reached an agreement in January.

Lillian Castillo-Speed, head librarian of the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library, said the university's actions have helped galvanize the union's efforts.

"Our bargaining team was told we were not a priority," she said. "They're saying if they have money to spend they're not gonna spend it on librarians."
Tags: librarians, contract negotiations

Article Link: http://www.dailycal.org/article/105336

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