SECHELT, BC, Dec. 11, 2018 /CNW/ - Workers for the Sechelt
Public Library, represented by CUPE 391, are celebrating the recent
ratification of their new collective agreement. After three days of
collaborative negotiations, union and library representatives were able to
reach a positive agreement that addresses key issues for precarious workers.
"It was a productive round of negotiations, and we are
thankful that the employer was receptive to improved conditions for casual
workers," said Aliza Nevarie, CUPE 391 president. "The addition of
sick leave for casual workers, a right that should be universal for all workers,
will make a huge difference for our members and their families."
Casual and auxiliary workers commonly have fewer rights and
work for lower wages than regular employees. In many cases, casual employees
work the very same hours and in the same positions as their regular, permanent
colleagues. The term "precarious" is used to describe these workers
because they have limited or no job security, and lack basic health, pension
and other benefits. Workers can remain in precarious conditions for years
before successfully moving into a regular position.
"Libraries across B.C. are using auxiliary and casual
staff in place of hiring regular workers in order to save money at the expense
of those workers and their families", said Nevarie. "To their credit,
the Sechelt Library has taken important steps towards reversing this trend
within their workplace."
Other key elements of the settlement include increases to
daily guaranteed hours, a Job Evaluation Plan with associated special wage
adjustments, a plan to collaborate on a new Violence in the Workplace Policy,
and new language to support paid special leave for all employees. The new
agreement will span four years and features a total cumulative wage increase of