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SASKATOON: The Canadian Union of Public Employees is slamming todays lockout of Saskatoon Public Library workers by library management.

Were shocked that the library board would take this irresponsible action, said Gwen Thomson, president of CUPE Local 2669. Library management says they are concerned about the disruption of services to the public, then they turn around and close the libraries.

The 260 library workers, who are predominantly women, began a series of rotating strikes on September 25 to press their demands for a pay equity plan at the library.

The union is seeking a job evaluation and pay equity plan that would measure the value of library work and bring wages in line with male civic workers doing work of comparable value.

The last bargaining session between the union and the library board took place on October 29.

There is only one way to resolve this situation, said Thomson. The employer needs to get back to the bargaining table with a real willingness to negotiate and implement a pay equity plan that will ensure equal pay for work of equal value.

The library workers have been without a new agreement since March 31, 2001.

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For more information contact
Gwen Thomson, CUPE local 2669 president
or staff representative Andy Iwanchuk
at 221-8420.