Strengthening library services in Petawawa and ensuring good jobs stay in the community are only two of the reasons that seven workers at the Petawawa Public Library voted last week to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Fittingly, the decision took place in the lead-up to this year’s Ontario Public Library Week (October 16 to 22). The week highlights the contribution that libraries and library workers make to communities.

And in the week that also marked World Day for Decent Work (October 7), the newest members of CUPE Local 24 not only sought to bolster their defence of good jobs and high-quality library services in Petawawa, but to promote fairness and pay equity in the workplace as well.

“Library workers play a very positive role in the communities they serve. Our members in Petawawa are keenly aware of the many different ways that the library enhances residents’ quality of life,” said Marc Lafrance, CUPE organizing representative.

“Yet even as library use has grown, budgets have shrunk. As libraries across the province suffer cutbacks, more and more library workers face increasingly precarious part-time and casual jobs.

“CUPE offers workers in Petawawa Public Library the opportunity to create balance in their workplaces so that workers have a voice and an effective way of protecting the good jobs that serve their communities,” added Lafrance.

CUPE represents library workers in Ontario and across Canada, including municipalities like Pembroke, Deep River, Renfrew and Ottawa.

“We understand the needs and challenges facing library workers and we have the resources and staff to help our newest members achieve their goals,” concluded Lafrance. “We are looking forward to working with our seven new members and we welcome them to the CUPE family.”

CUPE represents over 639,000 members in different sectors, including libraries, municipalities, hospitals, universities, schools, social services, transportation and other sectors.