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REGINA: Contract talks held this week between Regina Public Library employees represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees and library management have failed to produce an agreement, the union announced today.

The Library Board did not give their bargaining committee direction to come back to the table and address the employees concerns in any meaningful way, said Mike Keith, staff representative for CUPE Local 1594, which represents the 180 library workers.

The breakdown in contract talks comes after the union approached library management to restart negotiations after a series of rotating strikes held last week.

It appears they used the resumption of bargaining as a public relations ploy rather than a serious attempt to reach a collective agreement, said Keith. They continue to only pay lip service to pay equity. They carefully craft language on the subject that dances around the issue, but provides absolutely zero commitment to implementing a real pay equity plan at the library.

The union has also proposed a health plan similar to the one that out-of-scope employees receive. But Keith said the management offer of a health plan is inferior to the benefits package they give themselves.

We will continue to press for a resolution to these issues. We want to tell the Library Board that lip service will not provide a basis for a settlement.

The unions members are employed as librarians, library assistants, clerks, pages, library technicians, computer operators and maintenance staff. Their last contract expired on December 31, 2000.

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For more information contact Mike Keith at 525-5874 or 536-4856