Essex County Library Staff On Strike

Saturday June 25th, 2016

Posted at 8:43am

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Photo from Essex County Library Facebook Page

Last updated: Saturday June 25th, 10:02am

Unionized employees at the 14 library branches in Essex County are on strike.

Bargaining talks between the Essex County Library and CUPE 2974 broke off on June 23rd, and the 58 employees were in a legal strike position at 12:01am Saturday.

“It is impossible to negotiate a fair contract when terms are being dictated by the county over a phantom issue – sick time is not an issue at the libraries, even management acknowledged this,” said Lori Wightman, unit chair for CUPE 2974 in a news release Thursday. “We have been prepared to bargain, but management is not willing to budge because the bargaining mandate is apparently coming from Council – so if our community is without library services, then council needs to explain why they are looking for a problem that does not exist in our workplace.”

The Essex County Library Board released a statement saying that are “committed to the collective bargaining process and to reaching a negotiated agreement that is fair and reasonable to employees and consistent with our responsibility to provide high quality library services with the prudent use of public funds.”

The Essex County Library Board has says they have exercised the right to close the workplace during this labour dispute, but are ready to return to the bargaining table at any time to negotiate a fair agreement.

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