Toronto library workers ratify deal with city

Workers receive wage freeze in first year, lump-sum in second
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 03/30/2012

Toronto library workers have ratified the collective agreement negotiated by their bargaining team with the library board on March 28.

As a result, the city's 98 library branches reopened on March 30.

“I'm proud of our members, our bargaining team, and the public for reminding them that Toronto loves its libraries — and that libraries work because we do,” said Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4948 president Maureen O'Reilly.

The agreement contains no concessions to benefits and benefits for part-time workers will be more customized to suit their unique working conditions, the union said. A wage freeze will be in place this year, while a lump-sum payment of 1.5 per cent will be paid out at the beginning of 2013, along with a wage increase of 0.225 per cent. Wages will then be increased by 1.75 per cent in 2014, and 2.25 per cent in 2015.

There will be no full-time positions converted to part-time ones and a small number of full-time opportunities will be created across the length of the agreement, according to the union.

There were some cuts to employment security were pushed back to those members with less than 11 years' seniority, O’Reilly said.

“This was not about money — this was about ensuring that the employer values the work we do,” said O'Reilly.

The deal must now go to city council for final approval.

The 2,300 library staff and members of the Toronto Public Library Workers Union, Local 4948 first went on strike on March 19.

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