Thursday, August 15, 2019

Post-Gazette: Victory! Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh staff say "Yes" to the union!

In a 173-106 vote, the 321 employees of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh voted to form a union August 14th, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The library staff will be represented by United Steelworkers (USW) in future negotiations with the library system.

EDIT: Splinter has won for best headline recognizing this victory:

Hahahaha, Suck It Andrew Carnegie

Nolan, H. (2019, August 15). Hahahaha, such it Andrew Carnegie. Splinter. Retrieved from

Beacon Journal: Cuyahoga Falls Library and workforce at impasse in negotiations

The Akron Beacon Journal reported last month that negotiations between the Cuyahoga Falls Library and 27 employees represented by Professionals Guild of Ohio Local 3 ended without an agreement reached in mid July with no set date for when each side would return to the table.

The 17 part time and 10 full time employees have been without a contract since the last one expired at the end of 2018. Current negotiations have spread across 10 bargaining sessions, 5 of which have been mediated.

The sticking point seems to be the issue of wages and the protection of full-time positions.

Professionals Guild of Ohio Local 3 is asking for 3%/year for the life of the contract, which will be three years, or $0.50 which ever is greater while the library is showing no signs of being willing to go above 2.5% or $0.40.

Further, the union says that two full time positions have already been converted to part time and they want to ensure against future cuts in the future.

While the library claims the pay scale is already higher than comparable libraries in the area, union representatives point out that this is a poor comparison as high turnover since a new directors was brought on in 2016 means that most employees less than $14/hr and many would only be earning $11.50 though 2020 with the library's offer.

The union further points out that the library's offer is insultingly low when $15/hr is finally being discussed as a future established minimum wage at the federal level.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

London (ON) Free Press: Union leaders back job action plan

The London Free Press reports that union leaders representing 55,000 Ontario education workers have endorsed a job action plan, the first step in a process that could result in a strike as the union's contract comes to an end August 31st.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents non-teacher workers such as library workers, custodians, secretaries, and early childhood educators among others, says there will be no work stoppage before the school year begins.

However, with 500 jobs lost since June while hours are being reduced, full time positions eliminated, and work years being reduced the CUPE is preparing to go to the mat for its members.

Negotiations will continue, and CUPE has filed for conciliation, but strike authorization votes will be taking place in the first two weeks of September to determine support among membership if talks continue to go nowhere.

KPIX: Forestville teachers strike after negotiations fall short

Forestville, CA, a town with a 120-year-old school district with one school campus and 263 students, saw its first ever teachers strike kick off this week, and the first in Sonoma County since 1980, CBS Bay Area affiliate KPIX reports.

Teachers report that their wages are not inline with the cost of living in Sonoma County and say that a 13% increase over three years is needed to keep teachers afloat. The school district would not come above their offer of 12.5%, however, and triggered a teachers strike just two days before school was scheduled to start.

The distrcit's 16 teachers braved the heat to hit the picket lines Monday, and town residents continued to stop by the picket line all day to drop off water and other support.

RI Monthly: Why Labor Unions Are Increasing Influence

Liberman, E. (2019, Aug 13). Why labor unions are increasing influence. Rhode Island Monthly. Retrieved from


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

City Paper: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh workers set August 14th union election date

The United Library Workers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh have set a date for an NLRB union election, August 14th the Pittsburgh City Paper has reported.

The vote, which would unionize 350 employees across 19 libraries, is the culmination of a year of organizing and a summer of hard work.