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REGINA: Regina Public Library employees represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees will withdraw their services at the Central Library from 11:00 a.m. this morning until the remainder of the day to back up their bargaining objectives in stalled contract talks.

The action comes in the wake of a lockout notice issued by library management in response to the overtime ban announced by the union on March 28.

This heavy-handed reaction by the employer is indicative of their lack of respect for library employees, said Rosemary Oddie, acting president of CUPE Local 1594. Our members remain determined to have some of the gross inequities in our workplace addressed in this contract. No amount of bullying will intimidate us.

The 180 library workers want to negotiate a job evaluation plan to eliminate gender-based wage discrimination. They also want the same extended health benefit plan as library management, minimum hours of work for part-time employees, and protection against technological change and contracting out. The library began contracting out cataloguing and processing services to Ontario companies last year on a trial basis.

Oddie called on the library board to direct their negotiators to get back to the bargaining table to address these issues as a responsible employer.

The library workers have been without a new contract since December 31, 2000. At a February 11 meeting, the union membership voted 84% in favour of taking job action.


For more information contact
Rosemary Oddie at 522-7357 or
Mike Keith at 525-5874 or 536-4856