CUPE 2403 members at the Dawson Creek Municipal Public Library have ratified a new, four-year collective agreement. The new contract, which is retroactive to January 2023, is a major step forward in addressing affordability for some of the lowest paid public sector workers.

“Workers in community libraries have lower wages and fewer benefits than people imagine, despite requiring much the same qualifications as their counterparts in adjacent municipalities,” said CUPE 2403 President Stephanie Goudie. “This agreement will help library workers support themselves and their families while they provide vital services our community relies on.”

The Union commended the Library Board for setting a cooperative tone for negotiations, so the parties could focus on issues and reach a fair deal for workers, the Library Board and patrons. The terms of the agreement include benefit improvements for part-time workers, increased compensation for long-serving staff, and a wage increase of 16 percent over the term of the agreement.

Goudie noted the value of a union to library workers in small, rural libraries, and said that this round of bargaining in Dawson Creek is a strong statement about the support CUPE can provide to library workers across the province.

“CUPE is home to the majority of library workers in BC, and this agreement is a good example of why library workers continue to choose CUPE. It’s invaluable to have access to experienced, strategic negotiators who understand the library sector while also having the support of a national union. It’s this support that has helped countless library workers improve their lives at work and at home,” she adds. 

CUPE 2403 represents more than 200 civic workers in the Peace River region, including workers at the City of Dawson Creek, the Peace River Regional District, the Village of Pouce Coupe, and the Dawson Creek Municipal Public Library. CUPE, Canada’s largest union, represents library workers coast-to-coast, including more than 2,500 in British Columbia.