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

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RT @torontolabour: Let's support our teachers as they urge the province to get back to bargaining in good faith. https://t.co/Xz1ol88Xbd
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RT @progresstoronto: Another backtrack from the Ford government - this time on mandatory online courses for high school students! This is p…
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RT @CUPEOntario: Sign the petition and tell the Ford Conservatives to reach a fair deal with teachers and education workers and stop the cu…
Nov 20
#TransRightsAreHumanRights #LibraryWorkers take time today to remember trans people we have lost to violence.… https://t.co/WMCqiIJ738
Nov 20
RT @kristynwongtam: To my trans community and family, I love and see you, especially the kids who we must protect at all cost. Today we re…
Nov 20
RT @AndreaHorwath: On the Trans Day of Remembrance, we remember and honour those who have died as a result of transphobic hatred & prejudic…
Nov 20
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: I'm continually motivated by @CFSON and the students of @GBCollege Casa Loma! Students need grants NOT loans! They need…
Nov 20
RT @CUPEOntario: Listen to the radio spots CUPE Ontario is running in communities across the province to raise awareness about the devastat…
Nov 18
RT @the_grayt_life @1946Cupe Thank you to @Local4948 Toronto Public Library. Great message, as always. If it’s important enough to have a…
Nov 17
Staffless Libraries: A Bad Idea. Reason #23 (Access Unreliable) Doors to @torontolibrary's Staffless Libraries oft… https://t.co/Y6v1QxfNvW
Nov 16
RT @progresstoronto: Thousands of people used our tool to tell City Council to take Ford to the Supreme Court & they're doing it! Now it's…
Nov 15
RT @CUPEOntario: With only a few weeks notice, workers mobilized to protect our right to appoint our Representatives to the OMERS Sponsors…
Nov 15
RT @gotanthro: Got Anthropology stands with trans folks and will no longer be holding events at the Lillian H. Smith branch of the Toronto…
Nov 15
RT @CUPE391: Why do you think that libraries are such great places? We love that library workers provide community gathering places for soc…
Nov 14
RT @torontolabour: Our senior organizer @mohashim deputing on the #PovertyReduction strategy at Exec Committee today: https://t.co/XxzL1yg7
Nov 14
RT @CUPEOntario: CUPE Ontario Executive Board Member Brittany Nisbett demanding better treatment for injured workers at Doug Ford’s constit…
Nov 14
#LibraryWarriors outside #OMERS protesting backroom deals that could affect our pension! With labour @Local4948https://t.co/YNJV2IWMnl
Nov 14
RT @CAPALacbes: CAPAL's board has published a statement on the Toronto Public Library’s October 29, 2019 Meghan Murphy event: https://t.co/
Nov 14
RT @patersonmonday: hii it’s trans awareness week! reposting my comic about last months @torontolibrary protest in solidarity with trans wo…
Nov 14
RT @krisjoseph: Open letter from the York University Faculty Association's Librarians and Archivists to the Toronto Public Library #librari
Nov 12
RT @CUPEOntario: Some at OMERS are trying to rig the rules to weaken the voices of workers and get rid of benefits like guaranteed indexing…
Nov 11
RT @cartwrightTO: Today we remember courage + sacrifice. WW1 was supposed to be "the war to end all wars". Millions died on battlefields s…
Nov 09
Staffless Libraries: A Bad Idea. Reason #56 (Technical Difficulties @torontolibrary offers access and training to… https://t.co/dFVmaqwzGQ
Nov 08
Urgent: to all CUPE workers who are part of the #OMERS pension plan. Read this important notice from @cupeontariohttps://t.co/5JxHC8QGMN
Nov 02
Staffless Libraries: A Bad Idea. Reason #19 (Poor Security) Workers @torontolibrary consistently report not feelin… https://t.co/nSgyX7hClg
Oct 31
RT @acmjis: Huge thanks as well to the many organizations that co-hosted & endorsed, incl @Local4948 @CJusticeTO @SURJto @MaggiesToront
Oct 31
RT @LibrarianshipCA: Hundreds protest Toronto library event featuring controversial speaker https://t.co/yfajY5xgXD
Oct 31
RT @marchollin @Local4948 @TPLWU4948Pres @CUPEOntario @PrideToronto @4948Warriors Thanks for the buttons, friends!!!
Oct 30
RT @dhunnasim: Going strong with #TakeBackTPL @acmjis has been leading a beautiful read-in of trans, non-binary, and two-spirit writers. A…
Oct 30
RT @joe_cressy: With you in spirit. If a broken policy is allowing discrimination to flourish, the policy must be changed. Our libraries sh…
Oct 30
RT @BillyRayB: On the same day she won one of the country’s top prizes in poetry @GwenBenaway is helping lead one of the most significant…
Oct 30
Handing out buttons at Palmerston Library. Thank you to all #libraryworkers + allies who were able to attend to su… https://t.co/HtxLSjun0q
Oct 29
RT @CPoTGDK: Libraries should be for everyone! Come show your support at Palmerston Library 6pm today Oct 29 #TakeBackTPL #ProtectTransKids
Oct 29
RT @fondfaun: hey look, it’s @GwenBenaway getting things off to a brilliant, passionate start at the @PrideToronto pre-#TakeBackTPL rally!…
Oct 29
RT @CUPEOntario: October 28, MPPs are back at Queen’s Park. The #powerofmany is telling them to end cuts to #publicservices #education, wo…
Oct 29
RT @fondfaun: omg CUPE @Local4948, the Toronto Public Library Workers Union, just endorsed our #TakeBackTPL protest!!!!!!!!! solidarity f…
Oct 28
“Planned event reignites debate about libraries’ role as forum for free speech...” https://t.co/x60NVFmNQMhttps://t.co/ZTZ4xHzENC
Oct 25
RT @CUPE905: To conclude Ontario Public Library Week, we highlight one of our longest standing library warriors, Kathy Coates. Kathy explai…
Oct 25
Staffless Libraries: A Bad Idea. Reason #5 (Theft @torontolibrary is the biggest and busiest urban public library… https://t.co/6DGH72umjt
Oct 25
RT @PrideToronto: UPDATE: PRIDE TORONTO'S TRANS RALLY- TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2019 BARBARA HALL PARK. The Trans Rally will start at Barbara H…
Oct 25
RT @kristynwongtam: Thank you @GordPerks for your support of this motion to review the booking policies for city-owned facilities, includin…
Oct 25
RT @GraphicMatt: Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has a motion on next week’s Council agenda asking for a report on ways to strengthen the City’…
Oct 23
RT @CPoTGDK: Our statement on @torontolibrary renting space to someone who promotes discrimination against trans people @JohnTory @vbowles
Oct 22
At TPL Board meeting. Multiple deputations to packed room + overflow. Pride Toronto, the 519 + citizens express opp… https://t.co/iDHGCLqSqg
Oct 20
RT @CUPE391Pres#CanadianLibraryWorkersDay Our members and #librarywarriors across the country love what they do, today and every day. Vis…
Oct 19
RT @PrideToronto: Pride Toronto’s Board of Directors public statement on Toronto Public Library’s decision to allow Meghan Murphy’s event t…