Friday, July 23, 2021

Niles Public Library, AFSCME 31 Save Library from Cuts

 One day after a July 20, 2021 rally when more than 150 AFSCME members and their supporters spoke out against threatened cuts to library staff, services and hours in the suburb of Niles north of Chicago, the library board approved a budget plan that avoids the worst of the cuts.

“The library is all about our community, and this board wants to cut the programs that help us serve you all,” said AFSCME member and librarian Donna Block said at the rally. “They want to cut services like children’s librarians visiting schools and recommending materials for our students; they want to cut our teen AV collection; they want to cut the hours of our teen space; and they want to cut outreach deliveries to nursing homes and homebound patrons. Does that sound OK to you?”

The crowd responded with a resounding “No!”

Friday, July 16, 2021

Chicago Teachers Union Calls for Librarians

 The Chicago Teachers Union issued a long list of demands it wants before allowing in-person learning this fall. Union leaders seek over 4,000 new employees.

The Chicago Teachers Union issued a lengthy set of demands that would add at least 4,190 new workers before Chicago Public Schools reopen for fall, in-person learning.

The CTU proposed more funding for mental health, special education and art teachers. The union wants an additional counselor, social worker, “restorative justice coordinator,” nurse and librarian in each of the 638 Chicago public schools. The list would add 4,190 new school employees.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Duke University Press Union Election Needs Support.

Urge Duke Administration to Drop Objections to Duke University Press Union Election:

  Here’s how you can help

  • First, sign and send this letter to Duke and DUP leaders. 
  • Then, share this form on social media and forward it to others who might like to sign. 
  • Thank you for your support and solidarity as we #UnionizeUP!

Duke University Press (DUP) Website

After years of high turnover, low pay, and discriminatory practices affecting people of color and queer people, workers at Duke University Press in Durham, North Carolina, are organizing a union.

The 120 workers do a wide range of jobs: editorial work on journals and books, sales and marketing, IT and business tech. Most are women and most are white—although mostly men occupy the upper-level positions, a reflection of the university publishing industry.

Many of the workers hold advanced degrees but are doing entry-level jobs for entry-level pay because the academic job market is so tight.

The DUP Workers Union would join the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild. Their campaign is the latest in a wave of organizing in the media and publishing industries.

These workers had hoped things would get better under the new director hired in 2019. But management at the press was either unwilling or unable to negotiate improvements for workers with Duke University. The press is technically a department of the university, which has final say on issues like payroll, though the press generates its own revenue. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Indianapolis Union calls for Leadership Changes in Public Library

Union members, library workers call for leadership changes 

Members of the Indianapolis Library Workers Union and current employees of the Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) continue to call for the removal of IndyPL CEO s and board of trustees President José Salinas following allegations of racism and discrimination. 

“The community is responsible for the library, and the community should have a voice of what happens at the library,” Michael Torres, president of the Library Workers Union, said at a union meeting July 7. 

Many details of ongoing issues here: Afscme 962-Local 3395/Indy Library Workers

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Battle of Blair Mountain Centennial

The battle was the largest armed insurrection in the U.S. since the Civil War. The sacrifices of miners and their families who fought on Blair Mountain laid down a foundation that their descendants built upon to gain national labor protection.

Retracing the Miners March to Blair Mountain - Organized by the UMWA

Online exhibit.

Memorial & Commemoration

Monday, July 5, 2021

Unionizing in Museums

 In the last couple of years, staff at museums all over the United States have successfully organised themselves into unions. What has motivated their efforts – and will it improve their lots? 

Will unions make a difference at US museums?

Apollo (July/August 2021).

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Worthington Libraries (OHIO) board won't recognize union efforts

 The Worthington Libraries board of trustees voted June 28, 2021 to not recognize a demand by library staff to unionize, forcing employees to move toward its own vote.

Here is the response of Worthington Public Libraries United.

Our statement on Worthington Libraries Board of Trustees decision to reject voluntarily recognition and proceed to a union election with a pledge of employer neutrality:
Earlier this week, the Worthington Library Board of Trustees voted to reject voluntary recognition of our union and proceed to a union election. They also pledged to remain neutral during this process.
We are disappointed that our Board chose not to recognize our union based on the overwhelming majority support that we have already delivered to them and to the State Employment Relations Board. However, we are encouraged by the time and attention they took to listen to our concerns during the meeting and we are optimistic about their pledge to remain completely neutral.
We’ll be following up with the Board to discuss details about that pledge.
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The 6-1 vote by the seven-member board means that some 180 employees will decide for themselves at a future date whether they'll have union protection. And if a majority of those who eventually vote agree, a first-ever union will be formed at a Franklin County library.

The trustees, in their resolution, also agreed "to support a position of neutrality on the part of Worthington Libraries with respect to the matters considered in the representative election."

"We want this to be completely their decision in a private ballot," board president Lauren Fromme said following the vote. Library officials are permitted to lobby against union formation, and even hire "union avoidance consultants," also known as union busters.