Library workers seek positive resolution to avert full strike
City encouraged to return to table immediately
VANCOUVER – In a final effort to avoid a full blown strike at Vancouver’s libraries, CUPE 391 public library workers are encouraging their employer, the City of Vancouver, to return to the bargaining table to negotiate.
Public library workers are cautiously encouraged by Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan’s move away from his ongoing demand for a 39-month contract earlier today, admitting the first step is returning to the bargaining table and seeing their local issues addressed, like pay equity, improvements for part-time and auxiliary workers, benefit improvements, and job security.
Tonight at 5:30 p.m. CUPE 391 will be making a presentation on pay equity, the library workers’ primary bargaining issue, to the Vancouver Public Library Board at the Central Library (350 West Georgia Street).
“Finding a way to start addressing pay equity in Vancouver libraries is a high priority for our members in this round of bargaining,” said CUPE 391 president Alex Youngberg. “We need to make sure that the Library Board understands why pay equity is such a significant issue for us.”
A recent pay equity report released in July 2007 by CUPE researchers affirmed that regardless of the equally valuable work that library workers contribute to society, traditionally female jobs in the library sector are typically lower paying than traditionally male jobs in the municipal sector.
Vancouver Public Library workers are paid $7 an hour less than library workers in Toronto.
Despite the City’s persistent refusal to return to the bargaining table, CUPE 391 remains open to meet and prepared to bargain. However it is anticipated that job action will escalate to a full strike by the end of the week if a fair agreement is not forthcoming.
CUPE 391 represents the 790 employees of the Vancouver Public Library.
Contact:Alex Youngberg, CUPE 391 President (Vancouver Public Library workers), 604-322-4879 cell: 604-908-6095.
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258