University to Address Librarian Demands

    At a meeting last week, the American Federation of Teachers on behalf of UC librarians agreed to continue salary negotiations next month, when university negotiators are expected to respond to demands for higher librarian salaries.

    “Several points were made on Wednesday,” chief negotiator for UC librarians Mike Rotkin said. “We have demonstrated extensively to the administration that University of California librarians are tens of thousands of dollars behinds their CSU, CC and public library counterparts in terms of salaries.”

    Rotkin said that while the university continues to experience budget cuts due to the state’s deficit, the university sits on approximately $6 billion in unrestricted assets that could be used to pay UC librarians a total of $5 million in annual salary increases.

    “It’s not a matter of if we have the money or not,” Rotkin said. “It’s a matter of priorities. The university has already allocated salary increases for university police, legal council, executives and members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees], so why not us?”

    Rotkin said the union’s request to raise UC librarian salaries to the same level as those at respective CSU institutions still stands, and that a university response is expected to be presented at the next meeting between the two parties, scheduled for Dec. 10.

    According to Rotkin, the university has consistently neglected to perform exit interviews with outgoing librarians over the past decade, leaving the university unaware of growing problems in recruitment and retention that have resulted from inequitable salaries between UC librarians and their counterparts at other educational institutions.

    “The trouble we are currently experiencing in filling librarian positions among university campuses is due to increased awareness by librarians that the UC system is no longer paying as well as the CSU system or many community colleges,” said Ken Ryans, a librarian at UC Santa Cruz. “I have seen colleagues leave positions at the University of California to take up positions offered at local state universities and community colleges because they pay significantly better.”

    Representatives from the UC Office of the President declined to comment, and UCSD officials did not respond to several requests for a statement.

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