University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] May 9, 1957

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May 9,  1957 No.  154
Special Meeting
Present: NH, SR, AMS, MML, RJL, EBM, MAA.
Mr. Harlow planned to call a meeting of the professional
staff and wished to review for the Division Heads the statement
which he proposed to make to the group.
Status and Salaries of Professional Staff
For many months the status and salaries of professional
librarians have been under discussion by the Librarian and other
members of staff with interested members of faculty, a committee
of the Faculty Association, the Senate Library Committee, the
University Administration, including the President and Col, McLean,
the Senior Appointments Committee, and the Senate and Board of
Governors. Action has now been taken upon the recommendations made.
The initial problem in regard to improving the status of
the professional staff was to discover whether "faculty" status or
some other classification would be most appropriate and useful,
"Faculty" status in the University is not very clearly defined.
The University is made up of a number of separate "Faculties,"
to which in most cases only teaching staff with rank of Assistant
Professor and above belong. The Senate is not composed of all
members of the faculties but is representative only and includes
ex-officio members, representatives of the affiliated colleges,
of alumni, and of outside organizations. The Faculty Association
is the most comprehensive group but is not an official University
body. All professional library staff may now join the Faculty
Association, and three members of the staff belong to several of
the Faculties,
"Faculty" status seems to involve a number of factors J
full-time teaching responsibility, scrutiny for purposes of
appointments and promotion by the President's Senior Appointments
Committee, and certain perquisites such as immediate eligibility
to join the pension and insurance plans. All faculty salaries
are supported by "floors," but no regualr scale of increments
exists.  There is some flexibility in academic departments
regarding the "establishment," that is the proportionate numbers
of persons in each rank is not strictly controlled as has been
the case in the Library.
Heretofore the University Librarian, the Assistant
Librarians, and Division Heads have been classified as "Academic
and Administrative Executive Personnel," along with faculty and
administrative appointments, but other professional library staff
have been placed (perhaps for want of another grouping) with
"Clerical, Stenographic, and Maintenance Staff." There is
precedent for having two categories of professional staff, based
upon the position of Instructors (and Lecturers) as impermanent,
trial appointments; Assistant Professors may also be appointed for
fixed terms, as indeed may persons in higher ranks. Appointments,
and particularly promotions in faculty ranks are gauged by what is 21
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known as the "Tenure Document," prescribing basic educational-
qualifications, teaching experience, research and publication, and
community and University service. Eligibility of individuals in
relation to these bases are passed upon by the Senior Appointments
Committee before reaching the President, The practice is of fairly
recent origin, and presumably future appointments of the University
Librarian, Assistant Librarians, and Division Heads will be subject
to this procedure. Requirements in various parts of the University
vary, but the doctorate is becoming more necessary for initial
appointments and considerable experience and publication for
While the negotiations regarding professional library
staff were under way, there seemed little doubt that some considerable change in salary rates is desirable if librarianship is to
compete with other professional and academic groups for personnel.
Whether or not Librarians I, II, and III should be made subject to
the approval of the Senior Appointments Committee and lose the
existing arrangement for regualr salary increments in order to
secure other benefits of improved status was debated. The agreement
finally reached in regard to status and perquisites is as follows:
(1) A new category of "Professional-Academic Staff" is to
be created, to be.occupied, at the start at least, by Librarians
I, II, and III,
(2) There will be some flexibility in the "establishment,"
chiefly permitting promotions from L-II to L-III upon the basis of
exceptional merit and performance, whether or not there is a
vacancy in the higher category,
(3) The vacation period, beginning in 1957/58, will be
one month instead of three weeks,
(4) The waiting period for participation in the pension
and group insurance plans will be eliminated for professional staff,
and they will be eligible immediately upon employment (participation
is not mandatory, however, as it is for the faculty group),
(5) A new salary scale will be inaugurated July 1, 1957,
comprising new "floors" and "ceilings" for each grade and maintaining a system of merit increases,  (The scale will be officially
announced later.)
A specific amount of money was tentatively made available
in the 1957/58 University budget for possible salary increases, and
the new scale had to be made up-vath this and other factors in mind.
Because of these considerations, all staff now employed,in the
Librarian-I category (having one year of experience) will be paid
at^the rate established for the new floor, and new staff employed
this year will also necessarily begin here. The Librarian asks that
staff members please focus their attention upon the very considerable
salary increases being made and not upon this wholly unavoidable
aspect of the settlement: Appointments within the L-I to L-II range
will not be subject to review by the Senior Appointments Committee. 6   L'
It was emphasized that the new arrangement is more than
a salary raise— in Canadian universities it may be regarded as a
real "break-through" and a marked improvement in status.
Professional staff below the rank of Division Heads have not-
heretofore been regarded -as academic in their classification, and
for the time being at least no other universitj7- library in Canada
is within several hundred dollars of the new scale. The purpose is
to make it possible to secure librarians of sufficiently high caliber
for university work, and the Librarian emphasized the necessity to
be increasingly discriminating henceforth in making appointments and
promotions. If the new salary scale and status fail to secure
persons of high standard, the cause of the professional staff (and
indeed of the University Library) will be severely hindered.- As the
University expands, demands upon Library staff will increase, and
competent persons must be found,  The new arrangements, plus the
graduate library school which is planned, should be effective in
this respect.
Not everything was gained but much has been secured.
The mood of the University was cordial, concerned, and "ready to be
shown." The Librarian believes that further merited advances can
be expected.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m,


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