Frances Bula, Vancouver SunPublished: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
VANCOUVER - Vancouver's striking library workers and management have reached a tentative agreement, after a strike that began July 26 focused on better pay for the mainly female employees.
The agreement is consistent with recommendations made by mediator Brian Foley, but have been slightly modified, according to a private memo.
The two sides have not formally signed the agreement. Once they do, a ratification vote will be set, likely Friday or Saturday.Today marks the 84th day of the library workers' strike. There is a blackout on all details about the agreement.
Library workers voted 78.1 per cent last week against Foley's recommendations for settlement, saying they didn't address the issue of pay equity that was a main concern for them.
The union, Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 391, originally asked for a bump up the pay grade for the city's most senior librarians and a committee that would compare library work, a female-dominated profession, with city workers in male-dominated jobs doing work of equivalent complexity to see if there were pay inequities that should be leveled out.
Instead, Foley proposed giving several of the top classifications of library workers, about 300 of the 775, a bump up the pay grade. That amounted to $600,000 a year in increases. He said it was better to give them money now than spend months with a committee.
Foley also included in his proposals a new lower-paid category than what now exists for shelvers. But library workers said they wanted to take the money Foley was prepared to give, and which both city council and the library board agreed to, and spread it around among all 775 workers. They were also opposed to the new classification at the lower pay rate.
Library managers countered that spreading the money around would mean top librarians would end up earning less than other top librarians in the district, which was not really pay equity.
The library workers' strike is their first in 77 years. They were the last of three city unions to go on strike, after the inside workers went out July 20 and the outside workers July 23.
Foley was finally brought in in September, after weeks of failed and no negotiations, to come up with non-binding resolutions for all three unions.
The inside workers voted in favour of Foley's recommendations by 73 per cent, and returned to work Oct. 11, after an 81-day strike.
The outside workers voted 58 per cent in favour at the same time, but it wasn't enough because their local rules require a two-thirds majority. Three days later, after the resolutions were "tweaked" with some improved benefits and language on certain issues, the outside workers came to a tentative agreement and then voted to accept with an 88-per-cent majority Sunday, ending an 86-day strike.
All three unions get a 17.5-per-cent increase over five years, with a $1,000 signing bonus for full-time firstname.lastname@example.org
CKNW is reporting a possible settlement between CUPE 391 and the City.
Oct, 17 2007 - 4:30 PMVANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - Librarians and the city have reached a tentative contract agreement.
The city of Vancouver and striking Cupe local 391 members - librarians - have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.
The tentative deal is pretty well consistent with mediator Brian Foley’s recommendations a few weeks back with some minor modifications.
A ratification vote will take place either Friday or Saturday.
It looks like the bargaining committee will recommend acceptance.
City libraries could be open by Monday.
Bargaining Committee wrote this mid-afternoon:
As you may know, there have been a number of stories in the media late this afternoon regarding the state of bargaining.
The Bargaining Committee will be coming down to the Central Library tomorrow morning for a crew talk. We are very sorry that we are unable to discuss anything further as we are technically still under a media blackout at this time. We apologize for all the confusion that this has caused.