REGINA: After waiting more than 27 months for a fair contract offer, Regina Public Library workers signalled yesterday they are not prepared to wait months longer.
The CUPE 1594 members voted 83 per cent in support of giving their negotiating committee a strike mandate, as both sides prepare to the return to the bargaining table on April 4 with the assistance of a conciliator. The strike vote, held yesterday, generated a large membership turn-out with 75 per cent casting ballots.
“The strong strike mandate clearly shows members are not prepared to settle for the employer’s demands for concessions, including a proposal to work longer hours on Sundays for reduced wages,” said CUPE 1594 President Debbie Mihial.
Mihial said she hopes the employer comes to the bargaining table on Wednesday with a fair contract offer, stating it is long overdue.
The last time the two sides met in January for conciliation talks, the employer steadfastly refused to drop its demand for take-aways and improve its wage offer.
The union will not initiate any job action while the parties are involved in the scheduled conciliation talks on April 4 and 10. The 180 CUPE members at the library – nearly all of whom are women – are among the lowest paid civic workers in the city. About one-half work part-time.
Mihial said CUPE library workers want to achieve better wages, vacation improvements and secure their pay equity plan in contract negotiations.