Saturday, October 6, 2007

Library Workers - Settlement Offer

ALERT - Library Workers - Vote Tuesday @ Central Library

Please be advised that CUPE 391 (Vancouver Public Library workers) will be voting on whether or not to accept mediator Foley's recommendations and previously agreed to items as basis for settlement on Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 from 9:30am to 5:30pm in tents outside Central Library. (Initially, the library workers were scheduled to vote on Sunday.)

CUPE 391 lists four bargaining issues:

* Pay equity
* Improvements for part-time and auxiliary workers
* Improved language for job security
* Improvements for health benefits

Pay Equity
The Achilles heel of the entire settlement offer as no pay equity language is included. CUPE 391 members were hoping for language similar to the Burnaby Library agreement:
Pay Equity for Library Workers: A Joint Committee will oversee a review of all library classifications (except the Page classification) to compare them with City of Burnaby classifications. The review will be complete by the end of 2007. Up to 2% of Library straight-time payroll in 2007 and up to 1% in each of 2009, 2010 and 2011 will be provided to fund pay adjustments for library classifications. While this won’t achieve full pay equity, it is a major step forward.
The City of Surrey did settle with it's Library staff:
Pay equity was not a bargaining issue in this round, as it is for striking Vancouver library workers (CUPE 391), as Surrey already put a gender-neutral job evaluation plan in place a number of years ago that was recently updated. This plan resulted in significant wage increases for a number of lower paid classifications. SOURCE: CUPE BC
Brian Foley responds in the Saturday October 6 Vancouver Sun

Their biggest issue was getting pay equity for library workers, who are paid less than city workers for what they feel is work of equal complexity. Library union negotiators had asked for a committee to make recommendations on how to even out the differences.

Foley decided not to do that.

"I didn't want to give them some wishy-washy committee. Just give them the damn money."

The settlement offer does upgrade multiple positions one pay grade but also includes the following language:

17. (b) The following footnote will be added to the Wage Schedule:
  • "The employer and the Union agree that, where a wage adjustment is made, it shall not be used as the basis for argument or as comparison criteria to alter the classification or value of any other classification."
Improvements for Part-Time and Auxiliary Language

CUPE 391 described this issues as:
  • Almost half of CUPE 391 members are either part-time or auxiliary workers. Of these 380 workers, only 50 members receive any kind of pro-rated health and vacation benefits. The rest of these employees receive only a small percentage in lieu of benefits that comes nowhere near fair compensation.
Offer includes:

(6) WORK SCHEDULING - AUXILIARY AND PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

A new Letter of Understanding entitled "Work Scheduling - Auxiliary and Part-Time Employees" will be incorporated into the collective agreement.

A Joint Committee will be established, consisting of not more than (3) representatives for the Employer and the Union, to review and to discuss issues around access to and scheduling of part-time and auxiliary hours. . . Committee shall remain in place until June 20, 2008, but no later, by which time it shall report its findings and any recommendations to their respective principals. Where a recommendation is approved by the principals of both parties, such recommendations shall be implemented no later than prior to the next round of collective bargaining. (Ed. Note - 2012)


Excluded Positions (15) RECOGNITION AND SCOPE

Seven positions are proposed as excluded though incumbent can chose to remain in the bargaining unit. One the incumbent vacates the position then the position is excluded from the bargaining unit.


Improved Language for Job Security

CUPE 391 stated:
  • Contracting out is a big threat to our workforce and the public services we provide. Contracting out is a trend that offers no real savings while negatively affecting our ability to offer a quality service. We can not afford to lose talented people who care about the communities in which they work.
Contracting out language, in this offer, is the same as it is for CUPE 15 and 1004. I will discuss it in a later post.

Health Benefits

Family Illness(10) and Gratuity Plan(11) are included for part-time staff.

Extended Health Plan (7) is the same as it is for CUPE 15 and 1004

MY THOUGHTS

I did not expect pay equity language in the offer. I think the City is arguing that it is the role of the provincial government to develop pay equity language which is consistent across the province instead of the current ad hoc municipality by municipality approach. Ontario has such legislation in place. I also believe Mr. Foley sensed no give from the City on this issue.

Regarding auxiliary and part-time employees the library offer lacks an "Auxiliary Employee Conversion Review (8) pg 5" found in the CUPE 15 offer. I don't know if this was sought by the Library bargaining team.

CBC TV news, last night, best described the thinking on the library picket line. It's deciding between what was sought and an empty wallet.

I won't venture on how CUPE 391 will vote. It will be a long thoughtful weekend for these union members.

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Anonymous said...

Many Library employees are upset that the vote is being held on Sunday, forcing them to decide between pre-existing Thanksgiving plans and the vote.

October 5, 2007 7:21 AM


11 comments:

The Blackbird said...
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jonuck said...

http://www.fairnessforcivicworkers.ca/www/news/ALERT_CUPE_391_Votin

Anonymous said...

And so Part time and Aux staff who work at the library on Stat holidays (including Christmas at Carnegie) still get a flat rate of pay. Thanks Scrooge! What bargaining.

The Blackbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A true test of character is how one handles power or reacts to adversity

spartikus said...

What bargaining.

You can vote "no" to the mediator's recommendations, anon, as many other 391 members undoubtedly will.

Why you think this is a product of "bargaining" is mystery to me.

Anonymous said...

What is any situation that comes out of this a product of then? Tell me the answer to this Scooby Doo.

Anonymous said...

You know, if you want to vote YES go ahead, but don't pussyfoot around the fact that issues that don't affect you were not addressed. Every issue is a bargaining issue - methinks somewhere in this blog 2 weeks ago you were all gung-ho to continue the fight for your fellow picketers.
How things have changed. Some things benefit some more than others. Remember 50% of library staff are AUX/PT

spartikus said...

What is any situation that comes out of this a product of then?

I'd say this situation is what it is: a product of the mediation process.

Tell me the answer to this Scooby Doo.


Thelma usually solved the mysteries.

The Blackbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Blackbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.