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Battlefords/Meadow Lake - The union representing the poorest paid library workers in Saskatchewan went to the bargaining table yesterday hoping to see a significant wage offer from the Lakeland Regional Library Board, but what they got was a “final offer” that reflects the employer’s bah humbug attitude.

We hoped to see substantial improvements in the employer’s offer, particularly in the area of wages and benefits,” says CUPE Local 3077 President Dawnlyn Ward. “Instead, the employer gave us a ‘final offer’ that contains ‘little and nothing’ – little in terms of wage increases and nothing in terms of benefits,” she says.

CUPE, which represents about 80 employees working in 29 branch libraries across the region (which includes Meadow Lake, the Battlefords, Borden, Cut Knife, and Paradise Hill, says the library workers are the poorest paid in the province – if not the country.

Most of them earn less than $10 an hour. They also earn much less than most other library workers in the province. An entry-level clerk II at Lakeland, for example, earns $8.89 an hour, while a person in the same position in Parkland Library (Melville) earns $14.12 an hour – a difference of more than $10,000 a year for a full-time employee.

CUPE staff representative Rhonda Heisler says the employer’s poor wage offer is disheartening for library workers. “In this season of good will, our members were hoping to see a meaningful wage offer at the bargaining table last night – not the final offer which is the contract equivalent to getting a lump of coal.”

Dawnlyn says the union plans to hold a membership meeting to discuss options to achieve a fair settlement. “We remain firm in our resolve to achieve a fair contract,” says Dawnlyn. The CUPE Local 3077 agreement expired on March 31, 2006.

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For more information contact:
Dawnlyn Ward at 445-3206
Rhonda Heisler in Saskatoon at 382-8262.