The strike by 180 Regina Public Library workers is now two weeks old, but management is still refusing to address the union’s key concerns.
“We want to get back to the bargaining table,” says Rosemary Oddie, acting president of CUPE 1594. “We have made two attempts to get back to the table, but on both occasions have been told by the chief negotiator that there’s nothing new, that they have offered a fair proposal.”
Oddie says management will not commit to a pay equity plan to bring the wages of library workers, who are predominantly women, in line with other male civic workers. The union has made it clear it is prepared to phase-in pay equity so that undue financial strain is not placed on the library.
The library workers also want a modest employer-paid health plan and full disclosure on contracting-out plans, including projected savings. The Regina Public Library began contracting out cataloguing and processing services to Ontario companies last year.
To step up the pressure, library workers held a “read-in” protest outside City Hall on May Day. The workers brought along their favourite books and invited the Mayor and library board chair to discuss their views on pay equity.
Letters of support can be sent to: CUPE 1594 c/o 1680C Albert Street, Regina, SK S4P 2S6; e-mail email@example.com. Or fax the local’s strike headquarters at (306) 347-2380.