Thursday, December 13, 2018

New agreement for Sechelt library workers makes important gains for precarious workers

New agreement for Sechelt library workers makes important gains for precarious workers

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 8.7 percent. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Library Worklife

Library Worklife

is a publication of the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA). The newsletter began in January 2004 and is distributed electronically on the second Tuesday of each month. ALA subscribers receive quarterly alerts highlighting the previous months’ articles.
Library Worklife informs readers about issues – career advancement, certification, human resources practice, pay equity, recruitment, research, work/life balance – that concern all library workers.

It sometimes includes information about unions.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

A Plan to WIN! UC-AFT Ramps up Bargaining Campaign

Ramp Up Bargaining Campaign…Member Workshops, Media and More… 
While the pace of negotiations has slowed for the time being, librarians are using the break from the table to build our bargaining campaign and prepare for the next phase of negotiations. Each campus is holding campaign planning workshops in December and early January where members will plan concrete local steps for winning a great contract. Here’s more on these important workshops, including scheduled dates. Our negotiating team will meet for a full day on December 15th to work on proposals and gear up for bargaining dates scheduled through March. Meanwhile, our campaign continues to generate great media coverage with this interview on KALX and an  article in AFT Voices..

Also the Librarian organizing committees on each campus are hosting a two-hour workshop where librarians will develop a durable campaign plan for the next stage of negotiations as outlined at the UC-AFT Librarians blog here:  

A Plan to Win: Strategic Campaign Workshops for Librarian Bargaining

UC-AFT is the union representing librarians (Unit 17) and non-Senate faculty (Unit 18) working throughout the UC system.  Our members hold academic appointments as lecturers, program coordinators, supervisors of teacher education, and librarians.  For a complete list of the job titles that are included in our bargaining units, follow these links:    Unit 17 Librarians   

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Toronto Library Workers begin public campaign to raise awareness about dangers of "Staffless Libraries"

TORONTO, Dec. 2, 2018 /CNW/ - The Toronto Public Library Workers Union (TPLWU) will tomorrow begin conducting a public information picket to warn of the hazards of "staffless libraries," an experimental project now being launched by the Toronto Public Library (TPL) Board at two branches, Todmorden Room in the east end and Swansea Memorial in the west end.

TPL is adding several additional open hours to these branches when they would be otherwise closed under current schedules. During these additional hours, there will be no library staff on-site to assist or come to the aid of patrons.

TPL management intends to conduct the experiment for one year to determine public acceptance before deciding whether to expand the staffless concept to other branches. There are 100 branches in the TPL system, one of the world's largest and busiest.

Access to these staffless branches will be restricted to patrons 18 or older who must pre-register and indemnify TPL before being granted permission to enter them.

Patrons must sign away their legal rights in order to use a staffless library branch

In order to use the library during staffless hours, patrons must agree in writing that the library and the City of Toronto will not be responsible for any damages or injuries that may happen to them while they are in a branch with no staff. The registration form for entry to such branches reads:

"I release the Toronto Public Library Board, the City of Toronto and all their respective employees, officials and representatives from all claims in respect of injury, loss or damage to me, any children accompanying me, or my property, arising due to my attendance at the library branch during extended hours."

The union says that this "We're not liable for anything" clause in the registration agreement is a warning to patrons that they have no rights that they would otherwise have if there were actually staff in that branch. In fact, you have more rights walking outside to the branch than you do by being inside it.

"There is no other city service that requires you to sign away all your rights to hold the City accountable for injury or similar claims," says Brendan Haley, President of the union, "even if the injury happened because of the library's negligence or failure to provide enough security. This is very disturbing and we will advise City Council to look closely at this attempt to deprive patrons of legal rights they would otherwise have."

The initial union information picket will be held between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. tomorrow, Monday, December 3 at two locations: East York Community Centre, 1081-1/2 Pape Ave, (Todmorden Room is adjacent to the Centre), and at the S. Walter Stewart branch, 170 Memorial Park Avenue (the registration site for Todmorden Room).

"This staffless concept is a truly terrible idea for several reasons but the most important is the issue of public safety," says Haley. "If a patron is being harassed during these staffless hours, there will be no one there to come to their aid. Security cameras are to be monitored by a single security guard who will be located at the Toronto Reference Library at Yonge and Bloor. Good luck with the response time."

"To make matters worse, these video cameras will only monitor video, not audio," Haley added. "How are we to monitor verbal abuse and harassment within these branches?"

"It is unbelievably irresponsible, in a city of three million people, to have no staff presence in public spaces used mainly by individuals. And the idea that an access card available to virtually any Toronto resident 18 or older constitutes "security" would be laughable if not so serious."

"The union has not been consulted 'even for a few minutes' on the potential problems with this experiment. Our warnings are falling on the deaf ears of TPL management."

Haley says the union will be reaching out to the public and City Council in various ways throughout the experiment.

"More access to one of the world's great library systems is a very good idea. Doing so without professional, reliable and trained staff to assist and protect patrons and library assets is definitely not a good idea."


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Creston Valley library workers ratify new agreement.

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). November 29, 2018. Creston Valley library workers ratify newagreement. Newswire.

CRESTON, BCNov. 29, 2018 /CNW/ - CUPE 4959 and the Creston Library Association have signed off on a new collective agreement that includes a range of provisions and expanded benefits that will have a positive impact on families in the Valley, the local said today.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Daily Hampshire Gazette, Valley Advocate Staff Petition To Form Labor Union

Updated at 5 p.m.
Staff at the Daily Hampshire  Gazette and Valley Advocate are taking steps to form a labor union. It'll be called the Pioneer Valley NewsGuild.

Brenda Nelson, the Gazette’s librarian.:
We want to see our beloved news organization stay strong and vibrant for years to come. 
However, a series of decisions by management, made suddenly and without consultation with workers, have raised serious doubts about whether or not this will happen. “No one is asking us our thoughts or opinions on how we operate right now.” said Brenda Nelson, the Gazette’s librarian. “This union will let us be heard at the highest levels.”

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Center for Union Facts not a friend to workers

CUF-has been a key supporter of legislation aimed at curbing the influence of unions, such as the Employee Rights Act, while also lobbying against union-backed legislation like the Employee Free Choice Act. It has placed advertisements around the US that have been critical of unions. Its representatives have appeared on major broadcast and cable channels to discuss labor issues, and have written commentaries in leading newspapers and on news and opinion websites. (Wikipedia)/

Center for Union Facts

The Center for Union Facts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that fights for transparency and accountability in America’s labor movement. For too long, big unions have opposed employee rights, engaged in self-dealing and corruption, and made excessive demands that have killed tens of thousands of jobs and driven major cities into bankruptcy.
With a record like that, it’s no surprise that union membership in the private sector has collapsed and unions’ favorability has plunged. But even as they lose members and public support, labor unions fight at every opportunity against giving their members the resources to hold leadership accountable and try to hide the truth about their multi-million-dollar political campaign operations with front groups.
We have compiled a searchable database of public information on America’s labor unions, including data on officers’ salaries, membership trends, corruption charges, and key financial data. We provide resources to workers curious about their rights when a union comes to organize their workplace or about how to get rid of a union that no longer serves their needs. We additionally keep a watchful eye on union activities, especially their political activities and efforts to suppress employee rights.


Are you against unions?
No. We are against union officials’ abuse of power at the expense of their own rank-and-file members. We are against corruption, violence, and intimidation. We are against the misuse of union dues. We support employees who elect to join a union, as well as the right of employees to remain or become non-union without intimidation.