The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 410 members who work for the Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia voted more than 85 per cent in favour of strike action during a vote on Nov. 4.
The vote comes on the heels of talks breaking off between the union and representatives of the Greater Victoria Public Library and Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association on Nov. 3.
“After bargaining collaboratively for more than a year to make significant progress on key issues, the employer presented workers with a list of concession demands,” said Helen Hughes, CUPE 410 president. “The employer refuses to move on its concession demands and refuses to answer key questions about sweeping changes proposed to scheduling and use of auxiliary workers.”
The proposed concessions relate to the extent and nature of precarious work, the rules and wages related to scheduling during normal weekend days and the use of student employees in place of existing, long-serving auxiliary staff, said the union.
“The employer proposes to save tens of thousands of dollars annually by replacing existing employees with more precarious staff who are paid less and have fewer workplace rights,” said Hughes. “While we remain committed to a negotiated resolution, we need the employers’ cooperation in producing a fair settlement at the bargaining table.”
The employer reported that it would be applying to the B.C. Labour Relations Board to have a mediator appointed. The local’ s bargaining committee remains hopeful that talks will revert to their previous positive tone, but are ready to take further action if needed, said CUPE.
CUPE 410 represents 240 workers at the Greater Victoria Public Library located at sites across the capital region.
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