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On day 45 of the Essex County library strike, management returned to the bargaining table with the same sick time position they had prior to the start of the strike, resulting in another wasted opportunity to end a strike that’s deprived residents of essential library services.

“We returned to the bargaining table with a new sick time proposal so we could start a dialogue to end this strike,” said Lori Wightman, unit chair for CUPE 2974. “Instead management showed no movement and stuck to their original sick time position from June 22.” The 58 library workers have been on strike since June 25 over a phantom sick time issue that even management admits is not an issue at the libraries.

“After 45 days of depriving our community of library services, residents demanding their councillors to end the strike and open our libraries, and a neutral third-party arbitrator denying Essex County’s sick time position for another group of employees, management returned to the bargaining table with nothing to offer to end this strike,” continued Wightman. “Clearly they have an agenda to change the sick time plan at all costs – library services in Essex County have become a casualty of the County’s agenda.”

“Our community deserves better from their elected leaders,” said Wightman. “We’ve tried to find solutions to open our libraries and all management has done is deprive our community of library services in order to get the sick time change they want. Our members remain united and we are urging the community to continue to contact their councillors and remind them that they were elected to protect public services, not to keep them closed.”

For more information, please contact:

Lori Wightman
Spokesperson for CUPE 2974

Suanne Hawkins
CUPE National Representative

James Chai
CUPE Communications