Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cincinnati and Hamilton County librarians Vote to Decertify Union

Union was established in 2006 after library cuts
Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 4/12/2010

* Reversal of 2006 vote
* Seniority and "bumping" an issue
* Only librarians involved

After librarians of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County faced staff reductions in 2005, they agreed in early 2006 to join the Service Employees International Union, District 1199 (SEIU), by a vote of 74–65.

Last week, however, they decertified the union by a 66–50 vote. The move came after a staffer filed a Decertification Petition with the State Employment Relations Board, with signatures from more than half of the members of the bargaining unit.

The library has steadily opposed unionization in part because of its reliance on seniority as a basis for promotion and retention—a challenge for an institution facing change and cutbacks. In a press release last week, library director Kim Fender said the seniority and bumping system could cause five or six job reassignments. SEIU has not responded to LJ's request for comment.

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