Toronto Public Library Workers Union

Many people associate unions exclusively with industrial or construction trades workers or those in manual labour occupations with low education requirements. But in Canada and elsewhere in the world, highly educated professional workers, especially those who work in the public sector, often belong to unions.

Equal Treatment

While their workplaces are generally safer than those in industry, construction or manual labour occupations, their needs for fair treatment are the same.

lib2.0Library workers are dedicated to their profession. The years of post-secondary training it requires to become a professional Librarian with a Master's degree are costly and not easily transferable to another occupation. Librarians have made a significant investment in their careers akin to an investment in a house. Belonging to a union is a type of insurance that their investment will be protected against arbitrary treatment and that they will have input into their compensation and working conditions. Many are willing to work part-time while waiting for a full-time position to open up. The years they spend working part-time should count towards their right to full-time work when it becomes available. Only a union can help ensure this.

Other classifications of library workers, such as Public Service Assistants, are in the same position as Librarians. They must be highly educated and typically have to work part-time for years before a full-time position opens up for them. Another classification - Pages - constitutes the single largest group of Toronto library workers. There are currently about 600 Toronto Public Library Pages. All work part-time and most are paid close to the Ontario Minimum Wage.

Since Toronto amalgamation in 1998, the public library workforce has decreased by ten percent while circulation has gone up by 25 per cent. This is a very large productivity increase, per worker.

All the evidence is that the library workers' union has contributed to the maintenance of an experienced, stable and dedicated workforce by ensuring fairness and security and promoting professional development. There has never been a strike in the Toronto Public Library. 

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Recent Tweets

Mar 31
RT @fairwagesnow: Unsure if you qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit? Worried about refusing unsafe work? We'll answer these…
Mar 29
RT @CUPEOntario: Suspension of rules protecting long-term care residents put people at risk says @CandaceRennick. https://t.co/hhG0u6BliJ
Mar 27
RT @progresstoronto: Neighbourhood pods are one tool people are using to connect and make sure everyone’s needs are met by grabbing food, m…
Mar 27
RT @progresstoronto: Progress Toronto is teaming up w @djnontario's @SarahJama_ & @amarapossian to provide a webinar on neighbourhood pods…
Mar 24
RT @torontolabour: Cleaners are some of the most important frontline workers during this #COVIDー19 crisis - but they also happen to be some…
Mar 24
Please sign and share! Mayor Lovatt and Councillors of Whitchurch-Stouffville: Support P/T workers at Whitchurch-St… https://t.co/v8EIDu2Et6
Mar 24
RT @broadbent: Our first #HeroesOfCOVID19 is @UFCWCanada and its 250,000 members at workplaces across Canada. UFCW has successfully advoca…
Mar 24
Library Workers in #Solidarity with #GroceryWorkers who work to keep us fed. Thank you #respect @UFCWCanadahttps://t.co/LyNyOFDBVb
Mar 24
RT @torontolabour: If you haven't seen it yet, here is a joint statement from all City of #Toronto unions on their commitment to public ser…
Mar 23
RT @CUPEOntario: On Friday, March 13 Whitby announced that it would lay off 210 part-time workers in response to COVID-19. Send them a mes…
Mar 23
RT @torontolabour: An important message from our frontline heroes working at the City of Toronto. Thank you so much!
Mar 21
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: Good morning everyone. I cannot stress the importance of social distancing. We CAN go outside for fresh air but please a…
Mar 21
RT @wylie_alan: If you’re a library worker and being forced by your management/council to work in one of the many libraries still open then…
Mar 21
RT @wylie_alan: I’ve heard lots of stories of library workers who haven’t got basic protection like gloves, gel etc. This is basic health &…
Mar 21
RT @wylie_alan: This a public service announcement to all Councils; CLOSE YOUR LIBRARIES NOW! Library Workers are not martyrs #coronavirus
Mar 21
RT @wylie_alan: When I heard earlier on that my service was closing ALL of its libraries from today I sighed a huge sigh of relief for all…
Mar 21
RT @cupenat: CUPE members delivering vital public services have been stepping up in countless ways during the #COVID-19 pandemic. They are…
Mar 21
RT @stephvanstralen: Federal government flooded with 500,000 applications for employment insurance https://t.co/GSLAvUURcL https://t.co/Pxs
Mar 21
RT @ETFOeducators: ETFO reaches tentative agreements at central bargaining tables @etfopresident said, “We are very grateful for the suppo…
Mar 20
RT @CUPEOntario: We could not be prouder of our members who are on the frontlines of the fight against this pandemic, keeping our communiti…
Mar 20
RT @jpags: My story on Toronto’s medical officer of health pleading with us to stay home, cancel dinner plans and take social distancing se…
Mar 20
RT @rogerbannisters: Income cut off? Here’s how to access the aid you need https://t.co/yFFb5LJy8H via @torontostar
Mar 20
RT @JimboStanford: In my new column for @TorontoStar @StarBusiness I list 5 occupations which have been outsourced, deunionised, wage-suppr…
Mar 20
RT @LabourStartCanE: Some of our most undervalued workers now among our most valuable as pandemic forces rethink of what jobs are critical-…
Mar 20
RT @CUPEOntario: MEDIA RELEASE: Job protection is the first step; income support is the second—CUPE Ontario responds to the passage of legi…
Mar 19
RT @CUPEOntario: MEDIA RELEASE: “Workers must be paid!” CUPE Ontario calls on Ford to top up employment insurance now @fordnation#onpol…
Mar 19
RT @CUPEOntario: CUPE Ontario is calling on the provincial government to ask employers to keep workers on the payroll over the course of th…
Mar 19
Library Workers support this campaign “Workers must be paid!” CUPE Ontario calls on Ford to top up employment insur… https://t.co/QH8TzlNXX0
Mar 18
Thank you to all the @Local4948#LibraryWorkers who reached out - your union continues to be available remotely. L… https://t.co/KMq2Pt2qEM
Mar 14
RT @cupelocal79: A tentative deal has been reached. CUPE Local 79 and the City Of Toronto have reached a tentative agreement and avoided a…
Mar 11
RT @cupelocal79: Thank you to Toronto’s incredible public library workers of @Local4948 for this beautiful show of solidarity. We are so to…
Mar 09
RT @torontolabour: Working for #EqualityForAll at #InternationalWomensDay Toronto Community Benefits Network @TCBN_TO https://t.co/Z7JvZ38
Mar 09
RT @CUPEOntario: CUPE members are out in force at the Toronto International Women’s Day March. https://t.co/K8eE0EhyP6
Mar 08
RT @Lily4Workers: So privileged and honoured to be out celebrating, organizing and marching with a group of activists who tirelessly push f…
Mar 08
RT @WomenWinTO: It’s #IWD2020! Who are some women who make your TL better? Share their names and keep it going @chipadovani @farrahsafia
Mar 08
RT @CUPEOntario: CUPE Early Childhood Educators lead our contingent at the Toronto International Women’s Day March 2020 #IWD2020 https://t
Mar 05
TO #LibraryWorkers join Ontario’s education workers on the huge picket line at Queen’s Park #Solidarity @osstfhttps://t.co/PZS31iVGjN
Mar 05
RT @OSSTFtoronto: This is the future we are fighting for #nocutstoeducation #onted #onpoli https://t.co/QaemZD80Xz
Mar 05
RT @CUPEOntario: Solidarity town hall call for our members in Toronto with @cupelocal79. We’re also joined by leaders from @Local4948 and @…
Mar 04
Low morale, burnout, precarious work: Gig Librarianship | Editorial | Library Journal@4948president⁩ ⁦… https://t.co/BrVTC9OTPh
Feb 29
Congratulations to@Local416⁩ City, outside workers’ union reach tentative agreement shortly before midnight deadl… https://t.co/a8bpw02ZjP
Feb 29
RT @Local416 @cityoftoronto A labour disruption between @local416 and @cityoftoronto has been avoided. City services, including City-owned…
Feb 29
RT @Local416: After 6 months of bargaining @local416 and @cityoftoronto have reached a tentative agreement and avoided a labour disruption.…
Feb 27
Three Toronto city locals are in bargaining fighting for a fair contract + protecting public services… https://t.co/V9mcE61KVD