Regina: Regina Public Library workers voted 84% in support of taking job action to secure pay equity, job security and improved benefits. The vote was taken at a union membership meeting last night.
The strong strike mandate is a reflection of the memberships frustration with the library board, which has refused to address any of the major issues at the bargaining table, says local union president Suzanne Posyniak. Although the contract negotiations began a year ago, we have little to show for it, she adds.
The 180 library workers, members of CUPE Local 1594, want to negotiate a job security clause to prevent the board from contracting-out work at the library. The issue became a major concern for workers last spring, when the board contracted-out cataloguing and processing services at the library. The board is contracting out the services to Ontario companies on a trial basis.
The CUPE members also want a fair wage plan to eliminate gender-based pay discrimination. Weve lived with wage discrimination all of our working lives at the library, says Ms. Posyniak. Its time the board addressed this issue.
The library workers also are seeking the same extended health benefit plan as out-of-scope employees at the library. We want to remove the two-tiered system at the library, states the CUPE local president. Theres no reason our members should only have a dental plan, when out-of-scope employees have coverage for prescriptions and other health benefits.
Ms. Posyniak says she hopes the strike mandate prompts the board to reconsider its position at the bargaining table. The two sides are scheduled to begin conciliation on February 20.
The library workers have been without a new agreement since December 31, 2000.
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For further information contact Suzanne Posyniak at 789-6053