Saturday, September 15, 2007


CUPE 391: On Strike: One Month & 20 Days.

CUPE 391 on break-off of talks (9-14-07):
We are disappointed that the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Public Library and Metro Vancouver Labour Relations Bureau chose to break off talks today.

Earlier today, our Employer indicated that they will be seeking the services of a BC Labour Relations facilitator to assist with negotiations, and the City has informed CUPE 15 and 1004 that they have sent a letter to the Minister of Labour requesting the appointment of a special mediator.

Although the City and Library gave notice that they wished to lift the mutually agreed media blackout, we asked that the blackout remain in effect so that the parties could remain focussed on bargaining , however the Employer flatly refused the request.

CUPE 15, 391, and 1004 reiterate our offer for mediation or facilitation at the BC Labour Relations Board or engaging a mutually agreed private mediator.

It is uncertain how mediated talks will continue. We will not be issuing any further comments until next steps are clarified.

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.
We will keep you appraised as as things unfold.
[note: below is a library issued press release].
VANCOUVER – Today, the Vancouver Public Library asked the Labour Relations Board to
appoint a facilitator to address the key outstanding issues between the Library and CUPE Local 391, which represents library workers.
“After several rounds of negotiations and seven weeks of strike action, CUPE 391 and the Library have been unable to reach a settlement,” said City Librarian Paul Whitney.
The Library presented a new offer to CUPE 391 over the last two days that includes a 17.5 per cent wage increase over five years. The union, however, is unwilling to accept this offer and is still proposing wage and benefit increases of more than 30 per cent of payroll costs. Additionally, CUPE 391 continues to demand guaranteed job security and no layoffs, which would eliminate the flexibility necessary for the Library to deliver services to the community.
“In asking the Labour Relations Board to appoint a facilitator to assist the parties in settling these important outstanding issues, the Vancouver Public Library remains eager to settle this labour dispute so that our employees can return to work and library services can be restored to Vancouver residents,” said Mr. Whitney.
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