TORONTO, Ont. – The 2400 members of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union, Local 4948, (CUPE) will be in a legal strike position at 12:01am Monday, November 9th.
With an overwhelming strike vote mandate of 86 per cent, the union is asking the Toronto Public Library to maintain and strengthen an already highly-skilled workforce, with more full-time jobs and fairer treatment of part-time workers, to ensure that Toronto Public Library remains one of the finest public library systems in the world.
“Our vision is one of well-trained staff with good jobs and strong connections to the neighbourhoods they serve and libraries with strong collections, programs and services that are professionally delivered and attuned to the community. Good jobs with decent benefits are an investment in our city,” said Maureen O’Reilly, spokesperson for the local.
“The Toronto Public Library has a wonderful reputation for offering a wide variety of specialized collections and innovative community-based services and programs to library users,” said O’Reilly. “But recent trends at the Toronto Public Library indicate a shift to a more American-style library system - with an emphasis on cutting costs by relying upon more and more part-time work and self-service check-out machines.”
Toronto Public Library use has soared over the years. Library patrons rely on the library for many different reasons - children’s services, recreational reading, research support and special collections, free access to the internet, help with computers, study space, programming for seniors, adults, youth and newcomers, literacy support and more.
“To maintain these services at the same world-class level, it is essential that library workers have good jobs. It’s people who make libraries work,” said O’Reilly.
“We’re committed to bargaining a fair settlement and avoiding a strike. A fair settlement based on good jobs and quality service is both achievable and necessary for Toronto – we urge the Toronto Public Library Board to bargain in earnest to avoid a strike.”
The parties will be meeting with a Ministry-appointed mediator leading up to the strike deadline.
For more information, contact:
Maureen O’Reilly, TPLWU 647-206-7457
Sarah Declerck, CUPE National Representative 416 830-9537