REGINA: CUPE 1594 members at the Regina Public Library served their employer with the required 48-hour strike notice today, after waiting more than 28 months for a fair contract offer from the library board.
“We are very disappointed in the library board’s refusal to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair agreement,” says CUPE 1594 President Debbie Mihial.
The 180 library workers, most of whom are women, have not had a wage increase since 2009.
During conciliation talks last month, the library board presented a so-called “final offer” and cancelled additional talks with conciliator Doug Forseth.
The library board continues to insist CUPE 1594 members accept monetary concessions, including a proposal for employees to work longer hours on Sundays for reduced wages. The board also wants to cut health and dental benefits for new part-time employees at the library.
Although city council appoints members to the library board, the city rebuffed a request by CUPE 1594 to make a presentation to council at Monday’s meeting.
The union wanted to talk to council about the deleterious effect the contract dispute is having on library patrons and staff. ( Click here to read CUPE 1594’s presentation to city council.)
CUPE 1594 members will be in a legal strike position at 5 p.m. on Sunday, but Mihial said library workers do not want to disrupt library services.
“Our goal is to pressure the employer to return to the bargaining table and conclude a fair contract settlement.”
Contact: Debbie Mihial at 761-2404 or CUPE staff rep Guy Marsden at 526-6006