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Librarian Bargaining Update #6 October 19, 2012


The first order of business was a benefits briefing by UCOP covering the changes to benefits (individual contributions and co-pays) that will be announced in the Open Enrollment period to begin on 29 October 2012. For most health plans there will be small increases in individual contributions and an average $5 increase in the co-pay for office visits and prescriptions. There will be significant increases in the individual contribution for the regular Health Net plan (not Health Net Blue & Gold) and for UCSC employees. A website with details will open on 22 October 2012. Because we are working without a contract, these changes cannot be implemented for us without our approval.

Second order of business was to discuss Articles 26, 27 & 28: grievances, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. We had expected to get a counterproposal from UCOP. Since they have a new chief negotiator there was confusion as to what had been presented and where they were in the process of counterproposing. To facilitate moving forward, we re-presented the articles and the rationale for the changes that we made.

Third order of business is not a specific contract issue but involves the implementation of a new, online time sheet to report vacation and sick leave. There is a question regarding a possible underlying requirement that a ‘normal’ work schedule or time period must be entered for each librarian. UCOP was not able to answer how individual campuses are handling this. This is of concern to librarians because as exempt employees we only report whole sick or vacation days taken. This issue remains to be resolved.

The last item of business was the counter presentation by UCOP to our proposed replacement of Articles 4, 5 & 6. This is involves both 1) simplifying and consolidating the appointment, review and promotion process and criteria for librarians and 2) making some improvements in the articles, particularly a few that would require more uniform standards and criteria across the campuses. These are major issues for both sides. The counterproposal took several hours to present. The two sides are far apart on a number of major issues. UCOP has proposed a small working group to facilitate progress on resolving as many of the issues as possible before bringing the proposal back to the table. We feel this is a positive suggestion and will be working with UCOP to make progress on this article and the rest of the contract.

At this point formal bargaining was closed so that we could meet with representatives of the UCOP benefits team regarding the conflicting and confusing information that we have received regarding the pension changes and the changes to retiree health care. The chief negotiator for UCOP and half of the UCOP team remained for the discussion. The first point of discussion was to go over our RFI (Request For Information) we had submitted several weeks ago. UCOP so far had only been able to provide information on fewer than half of our questions. UCOP asked us what information we considered essential to be able to inform our members as to the issues in the new pension and retiree health care changes. Once those were identified the UCOP team brought in Anthony (Tony) Digrazia, the UCOP Associate Director responsible for pension plan and retiree health care changes. Tony acknowledged that the information on the UCOP website was confusing and he clarified some of the confusion that exists. He agreed to provide written confirmation to those particular points of information. Once we get that written confirmation, we will include that in the survey that we promised several weeks ago.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for next Friday, October 26, 2012.

Mike Rotkin, Chief Negotiator

Axel E. Borg Deputy Chief Negotiator

UC-AFT Bargaining team: Mike Rotkin (Chief Negotiator), Miki Goral (UCLA), Axel Borg (UCD), Harrison Decker (UCB), Ken Lyons (UCSC), Lise Snyder (UCLA), Mitchell Brown (UCI), Maria Elena Cortez (ED UC-AFT)