Bargaining talks between striking Essex Library workers and management ended once again when the library board refused to move off their sick time position that put the workers out on strike in the first place, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing the 58 library workers.

“Once again, talks failed because the library board’s sick time position has not changed since before the strike began and that was well over 80 days ago,” said Lori Wightman, unit chair for CUPE 2974. “According to the board, their mandate is a directive from Essex County Council. This board is refusing to stand up for the library services or the workers that deliver these important services. The board knows that sick time is not an issue at the libraries and their proposed plan will cost more, yet they refuse to stand up to county council. Essentially, this is a puppet board and the strings are being pulled by Essex County.”

“While county council is clearly providing directive to the library board to achieve their own agenda, it will not be long before the people of our community will be providing a directive to their elected officials – municipal elections are two years away, and we will all remember the summer and now the fall of 2016, when council closed all 14 branches of our libraries,” concluded Wightman.

All 14 Essex County libraries have been closed since the workers were pushed out on strike, on June 25, over a phantom sick time issue created by the library board. By next week, the strike will enter its third month.

For more information, please contact:

Lori Wightman
Spokesperson for CUPE 2974

James Chai
CUPE Communications