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Growing income gap “the untold story” at the public library

Nov 1, 2012 01:40 PM
 
“We have no quarrel with out-of-scope staff getting paid what they are worth,” says Sue Emson, a member of the union negotiating committee. “But we want the library board to fix the pay inequities facing everyone else – the silent 93 per cent.”

The untold story at the Saskatoon Public Library involves the growing gap between those who make a good living working at the library and those who struggle to make ends meet, says the union that represents the workers who occupy the bottom of the pay scale. The union placed an ad in today’s paper to publicize it.

 

About one third of the 250 CUPE library workers earn $10 or less an hour, while nearly all of the library’s managers are paid more than $90,000 a year. The library director received more than $134,500 in 2011.

The big compensation increases for library managers and out-of-scope administrative staff came in 2007-2008, when the library board provided increases that averaged 34 per cent. CUPE library workers received increases of 4 per cent that year.

“We have no quarrel with out-of-scope staff getting paid what they are worth,” says Sue Emson, a member of the union negotiating committee. “But we want the library board to fix the pay inequities facing everyone else – the silent 93 per cent.”

CUPE library workers, who voted 84 per cent in support of job action over the summer, are seeking a minimum wage at the library of $12 an hour and pay increases of 15 per cent over three years. They have been without a new agreement since April 1, 2010.

“When bargaining resumes tomorrow, we need to see a fair wage offer from the employer – one that closes the pay gap at the library,” says Emson.