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After a third day of conciliation, the membership of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) workers at the Newmarket Public Library asked the provincially-appointed conciliator for a “No Board”.

There will be one more day of mediation scheduled on January 11 with a strike deadline set at midnight. In a recent strike vote, the membership gave their bargaining committee a 95 per cent mandate to strike.

The committee has found this process to be slow, frustrating and unproductive,” said Judi Kidd, CUPE bargaining team member. “We have been going around and around these issues and, while we have been flexible during this process, we feel as though we are not being listened to.”

The parties have been in negotiations since the summer of this year. The major issues are mostly non-monetary-related.

Management feels they are entitled to bring in volunteers to do the work of the bargaining unit,” added unit chair Pam Hambrock, “and this is unacceptable.”  

The issues facing the membership are volunteers, vacation entitlement and wages. The Newmarket Public Library is a unit of CUPE Local 905, a large composite group consisting of some 4300 members working in the municipal, library, social service, paramedic and long-term care sectors.

CUPE Local 905 public libraries that have already settled this year include: the Aurora Public Library, Vaughan Public Library, Georgina Public Library and the New Tecumseth Public Library.

The communities of York Region are prosperous, growing, developing and economically sound,” said Lorne Trevors, CUPE National representative. “For this city to even think of forcing this extremely important community resource to shut down without seriously bargaining is atrocious.

For everyone here, from students studying and needing study assistance, to children, family and seniors, the library is the heart of the community. How can they not realize what an extremely important and much used service they offer,” concluded Trevors.

For more information, please contact:

 Lorne Trevors
CUPE National Representative

Grant Dart
CUPE National Representative

Wendy Forbes
CUPE Communications