The University of California and American Federation of Teachers have reached agreement on retirement benefits for the university's more than 350 librarians.

Under the agreement, the librarians will join the general UC employee population in participating in the revised retiree health and pension benefits that go into effect July 1, 2013. These changes include current employees contributing 6.5 percent of pay to the UC Retirement Plan, and new employees hired on or after July 1, 2013 contributing 7 percent for a slightly modified pension plan. The university will contribute 12 percent for all employees.

"We believe treating our people equally and providing everyone with the same high-quality retirement benefits is the right thing to do," said Dwaine B. Duckett, vice president of systemwide Human Resources. "We're pleased this agreement with the AFT helps us with that goal."

The post-employment benefit changes are part of a series of measures the university has undertaken to preserve the long-term viability of its pension and retiree health programs, while still providing attractive post-employment benefits to faculty and staff.

Other unions also have agreed to these measures. The university is continuing negotiations with other labor groups on retirement benefits.

Other highlights of the agreement with AFT include:

  • The librarians will participate in the university's general academic merit increase program in the current year and the next 7 years, when the university decides to administer it.
  • If the university does not administer the general academic merit program in any given year, the union may request to negotiate healthcare and retirement benefits.
  • The existing contract is extended to Aug. 31, 2013. Over the next several months, the university and union will continue to negotiate the remaining terms of a new contract including wages.

The university and AFT began negotiations in April 2012. UC is committed to continuing to bargain in good faith to reach an agreement that is fair and responsible.