Toronto Public Library Workers Union

Toronto library workers in contract talks with city

The head of the union representing 2,200 library staff say the city is not helping end "precarious" jobs.

rlspadina06.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox 1

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RICHARD LAUTENS / TORONTO STAR 


The city’s negotiations with Local 4948, representing 2,200 library staff, half of whom are part-time, started earlier this month. Their four-year contract expired Dec. 31.

By:  City Hall Bureau Chief, Published on Thu Mar 10 2016

The Mayor John Tory administration has new contracts with inside and outside workers but librarians — the only city staff to strike during the Ford years — are at the bargaining table and not happy.

“Our big issue is precarious work and they don't have one thing on the table to address that — their proposals would further entrench precarious work into our city,” said Maureen O'Reilly, president of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union.

“We don't see any bit of difference compared to the Ford years. Tory seems to have adopted the same strategy — get as many concessions as possible out of the unions, and in fact break them.”

O’Reilly spoke Thursday shortly before city council unanimously approved a four-year contract with city inside workers in CUPE Local 79 that, like the deal with outside workers in Local 416, reduces benefits, phases out job security and raises wages below the rate of inflation.

The city’s negotiations with Local 4948, representing 2,200 library staff, half of whom are part-time, started earlier this month. Their four-year contract expired Dec. 31.

The success of Toronto’s library system — with over 32 million items borrowed annually — is thanks to the hard work of overworked staff who made contract concessions in 2012, after a showdown with the Mayor Rob Ford administration and strike that shuttered the branches for 11 days, O’Reilly said.

This time the city is seeking further concessions similar to those made by Locals 416 and 79, plus some library-specific ones, she said. They include introducing a new overnight shift for staff who deliver books between the 100 branches and those who shelve them.

She said library management appear to be renewing efforts to have libraries stay open late at night, with minimal or no staff, like a system pioneered in Denmark. Users there can let themselves into “open libraries” with chip-enabled devices and sign out materials with a scanner.

The current contract prevents libraries opening later than 10 p.m., and only then with full staff.

O’Reilly expects the city will demand library workers agree to phase out job security that currently prevents staff from losing jobs to contracting out if they have 11 or more years’ seniority.

“We need more than a status-quo agreement,” O’Reilly said, when asked if another strike is possible. “It would be eight years of no improvements and just concessions.

“The mayor said it was good governance to offer police more than 8 per cent (over four years) to achieve labour peace and I’m saying they need to make a decent offer to library workers.”

Asked Thursday about the library workers, Tory said: “We're at the negotiating table with them and our objective is exactly the same as it was for all the other employees across the public sector in the city of Toronto, which is to find a deal … which is fair to those workers who do a good job for us in our libraries but at the same time fair to the people we serve who are the taxpayers and citizens of Toronto.”

Ana-Maria Critchley, a spokeswoman for the library system, said in an email: “We’re working to reach a settlement that is fair and reasonable to both parties, to the residents of Toronto, and are optimistic that this can be achieved.”

Librarian Glasses

Members Login Here:

Twitter icon

Recent Tweets

15h
RT @theurbangeog: Earlier this week @torontolibrary book mobile stopped in front of brilliant @ArtStartsTO mural at Lawrence Heights. <3 h…
15h
RT @theurbangeog: Hey! A reminder that #allthelibrariesTO is available for your colouring pleasure at the @SpacingStore. Alongside other fi…
15h
RT @jane_kenyon: Business model, the Apocalypse? https://t.co/sKHAL3jNZ6
16h
RT @theurbangeog: Quench your thirst for knowledge and watch me draw a @torontolibrary on This Art Works!: https://t.co/nzLLpez3DD@MCOcrea
16h
RT @myseumTO: Daniel Rotsztain/@theurbangeog gave an excellent talk at our July Myseum X @artspintoronto tour. Do yourself a favour & get h…
16h
RT @theurbangeog: My fave things, joined at the hip! St Lawrence library & @YPTToronto (in old TTC horse shed #allthelibrariesTO #alltheh
16h
RT @acarvin: Librarians Against Hate https://t.co/TJxoBjof17#bostonresist
16h
RT @penguinrandom: “The library is one of the few remaining spaces in society that everybody feels they have ownership over.” https://t.co/
16h
RT @Juan_Zero1010: I ask Lambeth Councillors and GLL's CEO to to halt plan to put gym in a library. Please do same @defendtheten @Kim_hLew
16h
RT @unionsis: Thanking @OurTimesMag writer @haseenamanek for this great interview with @Local4948's president on standing up to hate. https…
16h
RT @bcb567: Makes me proud to be a librarian ... and scared to think what will happen if all the libraries close :( https://t.co/05bzC4yC4C
17h
RT @cbcbooks: Why award-winning author Melanie Mah loves to write in libraries. https://t.co/92eRl8Qt42
Aug 19
RT @unionsis: Thanking @OurTimesMag writer @haseenamanek for this great interview with @Local4948's president on standing up to hate. https…
Aug 19
RT @4948President: Thanks my fellow library warrior @Local4948 https://t.co/9GTgpNt71A
Aug 19
RT @LibnOfCongress.@GreggHarper and I visiting the marker dedicated to the Tougaloo 9 who was arrested in 1961 after a sit-in at the then…
Aug 19
RT @cbcbooks: How being a lawyer makes Robert Rotenberg a better writer. https://t.co/C44Bhb5Sen
Aug 19
RT @joemihevc: Looking for a good movie to on the theme of race and civil rights in America? Try "The Butler"
Aug 19
RT @AnneFrankCenter: ELIE WIESEL z"l: Always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor…
Aug 19
RT @wylie_alan: "I see you're only open 13hrs a week & don't have any library staff" "Yes but we do have a theatre & a cafe #adoptapositiv
Aug 19
RT @splcenter: Today we honored #HeatherHeyer by adding her name and image to the Wall of Tolerance inside the @CivilRightsCntr. https://t.
Aug 19
RT @JBotari: In Wake of Charlottesville, How Can Unions Fight for Racial Justice? | Labor Notes https://t.co/yCfYcsvCxC#labor #labour #NoH
Aug 19
RT @torontolibrary: Recommended reads featuring books by our fall #ehList writer series: https://t.co/vOordjgcg1
OFL
Aug 19
RT @OFLabour: Part-time and contract work is often precarious, but it doesn't have to be! Tell your MPP you want #decentwork https://t.co/4
Aug 18
Thanks my fellow library warrior @Local4948 https://t.co/9GTgpNt71A
Aug 18
RT @haseenamanek: Chatted with @4948President about nazis libraries and politics in public spaces for @OurTimesMag. Read it here! https://t
Aug 18
RT @OurTimesMag: Read @Local4948 pres in @OurTimesMag on standing up against hate https://t.co/qU4zkTz4rG#fightfascism @esooze @calix @so
Aug 17
RT @LevittMichael: How poignant that today marks the 84th anniversary of #ChristiePits riot when Jews & other minorities fought back agains…
Aug 17
RT @cafreeland: Today marks 84 years since the #ChristiePits Riot – when Jewish, Italian, & Ukrainian Torontonians stood up to white suprem…
Aug 17
RT @ttcriders: 2018 budget decisions are just around the corner, join the @betterlivesto campaign and hold Council & @JohnTory accountable…
Aug 17
RT @rankandfileca: "The labor movement was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress #MLK #canlab #c
Aug 17
RT @TOBookAwards#BookLoversDay There were 61 entries in this year's Toronto Book Awards. On Aug. 24 find out who made the shortlist https…
Aug 17
RT @FOPLnews: Celebrating Stunning Canadian Urban Library Branches https://t.co/Jxpu3Rm3Us
Aug 17
RT @cartwrightTO: I wrote this in June. More true after #Charlottsville - Asking Leaders To Challenge Racism And Discrimination https://t.
Aug 17
RT @GPLLP: Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Resource Guide: https://t.co/DNGNBIDhW1 from the Southern Poverty Law Center @splcenter
Aug 17
RT @DJW129: An open letter from @cupe3902 demanding that @UofT do better combatting white supremacy and alt-right movements. https://t.co/H
Aug 16
RT @TorontoStar: “Municipalities cannot possibly make ends meet on property taxes alone.” https://t.co/cklndQeDoH
Aug 16
RT @cityslikr: Perfectly legal, very fine nazis, white supremacists, KKKers. They had a permit.
Aug 16
RT @fysl: "Fine people." https://t.co/khoP6J9qBp
Aug 16
RT @TheSadLibrary @publiclibnews @LibTaskforce Also, there's a lot of spin around increased opening hours but without staff, that extra op…
Aug 16
RT @AnthonyNMorgan: White nationalist groups on the rise in Canada, planning more rallies https://t.co/D6ZielqZne
Aug 16
RT @cbcbooks#ICYMI @torontolibrary's #sciencefiction #fantasy & #graphicnovel collection now under new leadership. https://t.co/eQP28dN
Aug 16
RT @fairwagesnow: REPORT @ccpa @Sheila_M_Block shows low-income families losing ground. Ontario needs a raise #15andFairness #ONPoli https…
Aug 16
RT @OwenJones84: White supremacist and ex-KKK leader congratulates Donald Trump for condemning anti-fascists after a fascist terrorist atta…
Aug 16
RT @nytopinion: White supremacists see Trump’s failure to condemn them as a sign of implicit support. Which of course it is. https://t.co/b
Aug 16
RT @FredHahnCUPE @OPSEU @OFLabour @CUPEOntario all at #AMOConf17 with well received messages @fairwagesnow#KeepHydroPublic @SendAParamedi
Aug 16
RT @HuAnthoni @DesmondCole @DesmondCole @cbcnews for @UofT to condone 'not ruling out possibility' brings into question the issue of publi…