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Saskatoon Public Library workers ratified a new contract last week, ending a rotating strike, and subsequent lockout, that began September 25.

The resolve of our membership and strong public support has enabled us to reach a settlement that goes a long way towards addressing our bargaining objectives, says Gwen Thomson, President of CUPE Local 2669.

The 260 library workers will receive wage increases of 4, 4 and 3 per cent effective March 2001, 2002 and 2003. A further 2 per cent of payroll will be set aside for the implementation of an internal job evaluation plan.

The new agreement includes a commitment to undertake a joint study of wage disparities between the library and inside workers at the City of Saskatoon, members of CUPE Local 59.

Though there is much work to be done, we have definitely taken a big step towards achieving pay equity with this agreement, says Thomson.

The library workers, predominantly women, withdrew their services for a total of 21 days to back contract demands for pay equity. The CUPE members were then locked out on November 19, when contract talks resumed.