Members of CUPE L1115’s Library unit voted against ratifying their collective agreement on June 18, citing issues in scheduling as a main concern.
Library staff are seeking modest scheduling changes in order to better support a healthy work-life balance. Thus far, the employer has been unwilling to negotiate on this matter.
“Scheduling is a huge issue,” says CUPE L1115 President Mark Slade. “Library workers have become front-line staff for some of the city’s most vulnerable, and it’s become a health and safety issue. Our members deserve to be able to rest and recharge after the difficult work they do every day, which leaves them exhausted.”
In February members of CUPE L1115 ‘s Library unit held a successful strike vote. The local will be back at the bargaining table on September 11.
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.
On June 20 the crossing guard unit of CUPE L1115 in the City of Welland voted overwhelmingly in favour of ratifying their first collective agreement. Following more than a year and a half of bargaining, City of Welland crossing guards will now receive better wages, a safer workplace and upgraded PPE.
“This is an improvement all the way around,” says Slade. “They finally have a seat at the table.”
The crossing guard unit was certified by the Ontario Labour Board and joined CUPE in March 2022 after the employer asserted that the union’s application to certify them as members was invalid, stalling their efforts to unionize for eight months.
“Crossing guards have physically demanding jobs and are vital to help ensure that children and the elderly are safe getting to where they need to go,” says Slade. “It’s a health and safety issue. They work all year round, in rain or shine, and protect some of our city’s most vulnerable, while dealing with aggressive drivers.”
Ontario has faced a province-wide shortage of crossing guards in recent years.