Friday, October 19, 2007

Library Workers Ratify Contract

It’s Official. The Library Board Ratifies Agreement

Bargaining Committee wrote this in the early morning:

Early this morning the Vancouver Public Library Board met and ratified the Memorandum of Agreement between CUPE Local 391, the Vancouver Public Library Workers and the Vancouver Public Library Board, the Employer. The five year contract covers the period January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2011.

CUPE 391’s members will be returning to work shortly to ensure that the public will be able to have access to their library system as soon as possible. Vancouver Public Library workers are eager to return to their jobs in public service that they love so much.


After 292 days without a contract and 89 days of strike action CUPE 391 - Library Workers voted:

YES: 71%

NO: 29%

Contract ratification means library staff return to work Monday Oct. 22nd and libraries will open Wednesday Oct. 24th.

Pay Equity Committee is included.
14. Joint Committee - Classification Issues
The Employer and the Union agree to establish a Joint Committee consisting of not more than three (3) representatives from each party to discuss classification issues. The primary purpose of the Committee shall be for each party to gain a better appreciation of the other party’s perspective on classification issues. The Committee shall meet periodically during 2007, 2008 and 2009 and shall cease to exist on 2009 December 31 unless both parties agree to extend it. The Committee shall automatically be removed from the Collective Agreement unless both parties specifically agree to renew it.

Memorandum of Understanding - CUPE 391 & Vancouver Public Library

Library strike ends: CUPE 391 makes important steps towards pay equity

[October 19, 2007 07:05 PM] CUPE

VANCOUVER—After 88 days on strike, CUPE 391 members have voted 71 per cent in favour of the tentative agreement reached yesterday between bargaining representatives of the library workers' union and the Vancouver Public Library (VPL). The VPL Board will be holding their ratification vote tomorrow morning.

The agreement was based on recommendations issued by mediator Brian Foley on October 5, 2007 but included adjustments that were vital for the union before the members could accept the deal. A primary adjustment was the addition of a joint-committee on classification issues whereby the union can express their pay equity concerns.

"We've been saying all along that we went out on strike on a principle," says CUPE 391 President Alex Youngberg, "now we're going back on a principle. We are going back knowing we have made important advances towards the long-term goal achieving pay equity and paved the way to make further advances in the future."

In addition to Foley's recommendations, the tentative agreement also includes the:

  • Inclusion of three more librarian positions into pay grade increases/wage adjustments.
  • Expansion of benefit coverage to include orthodics.
  • Improvements to the return to work agreement, including: maternity, paternity, adoption leave coverage; improvements on how to handle vacation upon return to work and extension of timeline on grievances.

"We are looking forward to working with our employer to fully restore public library services," says Youngberg. The library workers are expected to return to work as early as Wednesday, October 24, 2007.

"The public is encouraged to approach us in the library and ask us about pay equity. We'd be happy to tell you everything we know and point you to a book or two on the subject."

CUPE 391 represents 770 library workers employed by the Vancouver Public Library. This was their first strike in their 77-year history. It began on July 26, 2007.


Alexandra Youngberg, CUPE 391 President, 604-908-6095
Ed Dickson, CUPE 391 bargaining chair, 778-840-0207
Diane Kalen, CUPE Communications, 778-229-0258

Memorandum of Agreement between CUPE 391 and Vancouver Public Library


Anonymous said...

""The public is encouraged to approach us in the library and ask us about pay equity. We'd be happy to tell you everything we know and point you to a book or two on the subject.""

I'd point out The Wealth of Nations,

"The whole of the advantages and disadvantages of the different employments of labour and stock must, in the same neighbourhood, be either perfectly equal or continually tending to equality. If in the same neighbourhood, there was any employment evidently either more or less advantageous than the rest, so many people would crowd into it in the one case, and so many would desert it in the other, that its advantages would soon return to the level of other employments."

Anonymous said...

Dear Picket Boy,
I've had one too many cocktails to be able to respond to Adam Smith, but I'd like to thank you for the work you've put into this blog. I supported my Union through this strike, but grew weary of the party line. And the media usually got things half wrong. So, I came to rely on you to provide clearheaded and common sense analysis. Best wishes for the future, and thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Well, if this is the section to offer kudos, I too thank you PB. The mainstream media has been (and I'm restrained here) the bottom-feeders of the written world of reporting for the most part (apologies to the few who have been fair) but your time and effort during this has been much appreciated - you filled me in on stuff better than anyone and allowed all sides to voice, so Thank You and don't think it wasn't ever appreciated - it was!

Anonymous said...

you betcha, PB. thanks for the memories. we hardly knew ya. let's go for coffee and talk of the fun times...

Anonymous said...

Well done, Picket Boy. :)


spartikus said...

Thanks, Picket Boy. You've almost inspired me to return to blogging.

Almost ;)