Toronto Public Library workers have requested no board report and will be in a strike or lockout position in 17 days, they announced Friday morning.
Maureen O’Reilly, President of Local 4948 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, gave an update to the media on the status of collective bargaining with the Toronto Public Library Board at 10:30 a.m.
“Library workers are what make our library system so exceptional, but they can only do that when they have good, stable jobs and, right now, over half don’t,” O’Reilly said.
“It’s hurting our library system and its largely female workforce who come from diverse neighbourhoods across Toronto. We have to do better.”
The workers are looking to shift to more full-time, permanent jobs as most of their positions are part-time work and have limited access to pensions or benefits.
Their four-year contract expired Dec. 31. The Toronto Public Library board was the only city staff to strike during Rob Ford’s tenure as mayor.
“We believe a settlement can be achieved, but we need a willing partner to craft an agreement that meets the unique needs of the library and its workers,” said O’Reilly.
Local 4948 CUPE represents 2,200 full and part time library workers across 100 Toronto Public Libraries.