After more than a year of trying to get a first collective agreement, members of CUPE 905 working at the Bradford West Gwillimbury Public Library have voted nearly unanimously to take strike action if necessary.

“We’re very frustrated. This library is a vital community hub, and as library workers, we love what we do. We love being creative and delivering great and innovative services to the community. But the reality is that for workers it’s an unhealthy environment and the employer needs to start taking the problems seriously,” said Unit Chair Wendy Zwaal.

Library workers want a fair collective agreement that includes harmonious labour relations, equity, job security, scheduling that allows them to have a life outside of work and fair compensation.

“What happens at the bargaining table affects library services. Staff feel burnt out due to short-staffing and recruitment issues. Over half of the workers have left in the last 2 years because of the working conditions. In the end this is a loss to the community” said Bargaining Team Member Bailey Shaw.

More than 22,000 library workers across the country are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, including workers in most Ontario public libraries.