SUNY Librarians Launch Campaign for Pay Equity
Librarians in the State University of New York (SUNY) system have begun a campaign to win pay equity with classroom faculty on campuses throughout the state, unanimously passing a resolution and issuing a six-page report written by an ad hoc committee of the SUNY Librarians Association (SUNYLA). With the union representing librarians, United University Professions, gearing up for new contract negotiations, the resolution calls for "equality to be its goal, including equal contract year obligations, equal compensation, and the option of equal professorial titles." The resolution was passed on to SUNY chancellor John Ryan, who, while praising the efforts of SUNY librarians, said that the Taylor Law forbade him from commenting directly on the librarians' pitch outside of the official negotiating process. The report was shared with the LJ Academic Newswire by Ron Foster, assistant librarian at the SUNY Institute of Technology (Utica, NY) who chaired the ad hoc committee that drafted the resolution.
Librarians have enjoyed faculty status on SUNY campuses for decades, but the differences between librarians and "classroom faculty" are stark. Faculty members, for example, have ten-month contracts while library faculty members have 12-month "calendar year" obligations. In terms of salary, the average SUNY librarian in 2006 earned $55,595, while professors and instructors averaged $61,413, a difference of $5818. With negotiations between librarians and the university pending, the rhetoric has been constructive and measured thus far. SUNY librarians, meanwhile, have resolved to "remain actively engaged" with the issue.