BRANTFORD – Brantford Public Library pages, workers who help librarians and library users, are set to walk off the job at midnight on Tuesday night (Sept. 18), if last minute negotiations fail.
Weve been trying to get a first collective agreement for months without success, says Andrew Hunter, the president of CUPE Local 181, which represents the library pages. The library CEO is proposing spending tens of thousands of dollars to bring librarians here from around the world so they can witness the great job we are doing. There is no recognition, however, for the contribution of the pages. The employer does not want to pay them a living wage.
Workers ordered to hand in keys
On Friday, the employer told all the pages to hand in their work keys by the end of the day. The employer is sending a negative signal by asking the workers for their keys, says Hunter. This does not bode well for negotiations on Tuesday.
Library pages at the Brantford Public Library help children navigate the childrens area, help university students from Laurier use the library resources, and help the public use the facility. All library workers, including pages, ensure that library services run smoothly, says Hunter. Minimum wage is just not acceptable. Paying student pages less than other pages is not acceptable. These workers deserve a decent contract. It is a matter of respect.
CUPE Local 181 and the library will continue negotiations Tuesday morning.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees represents 180,000 workers in Ontario, many of whom work in the broader public sector.
Shannon McManus, CUPE Communications:
Andrew Hunter, CUPE Local 181:
519-865-1718 (cell phone)