Collective Bargaining Agreements and Pay Systems (1997)

Mary Jo Lynch, Director,
ALA Office for Research and Statistics

The following results are for questions asked in April, 1997. Some or all of the four questions were answered by 897 libraries; the number responding to each question is given in parentheses below. In all cases the percentage of respondents column totals more than 100% because respondents could check more than one answer.

  1. Which of your library's employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement? Please check all that apply. (891 libraries)

    Table 1: Library employees covered by Collective Bargaining Agreements

    Library Employees Covered by Collective Bargaining

    # of positions covered by

    collective bargaining

    Percentage of respondents
    None 65.7
    some support staff 9.2
    all support staff 20.3
    some professional staff 12.7
    all professional staff 16.4

    The number of libraries where all staff (both all support staff and all professional staff) are covered by a collective bargaining agreement is 108 (12%).

  2. What is the basis for your current pay system? Please check all that apply.

    Table 2: Basis for Pay Systems

    Pay system basis Percentage of respondents
    pay for performance/merit based system 42.3
    across-the-board cost of living adjustments 61.7
    variable pay (system varies with type of work) 16.6
    other 24.4

    Of those who specified "other," 92 were from academic libraries. Thirty-four (34) of them mentioned a schedule based on various factors and 15 of the 34 noted that it was the same as the faculty schedule. Union contracts were mentioned by 29 academic respondents. Only three mentioned market factors. Of the 116 public library respondents who specified "other," 37 mentioned some kind of salary schedule and 33 mentioned a union contract. Market factors were noted by four respondents from public libraries.

  3. Which alternative forms of compensation does your library offer? Please check all that apply.

    Table 3: Alternative Forms of Compensation

    Form of compensation Percentage of respondents
    sabbaticals/time off 28.2
    bonuses/incentives 8.4
    job enrichment 16.0
    awards programs 9.8
    team-based pay .5
    Other 11.4
    none of the above 49.4

    Most frequently mentioned as "other" forms of compensation were professional development/continuing education funds (14 mentions), conference/travel funds (11) and tuition reimbursement (11).

  4. Are you planning to change or modify your pay system in the near future? If yes, please explain.

    Only 62 respondents answered "yes" to question 4 and no clear pattern could be observed in the explanations provided.