Library strike ends: CUPE 391 makes important steps towards pay equity

    VANCOUVER, Oct. 19 /CNW/ - After 88 days on strike, CUPE 391 members have
voted 71 per cent in favour of the tentative agreement reached yesterday
between bargaining representatives of the library workers' union and the
Vancouver Public Library (VPL). The VPL Board will be holding their
ratification vote tomorrow morning.
    The agreement was based on recommendations issued by mediator Brian
Foley: on
October 5, 2007 but included adjustments that were vital for the union before
the members could accept the deal. A primary adjustment was the addition of a
joint-committee on classification issues whereby the union can express their
pay equity concerns.
    "We've been saying all along that we went out on strike on a principle,"
says CUPE 391 President Alex Youngberg, "now we're going back on a principle.
We are going back knowing we have made important advances towards the
long-term goal achieving pay equity and paved the way to make further advances
in the future."
    In addition to Foley's recommendations, the tentative agreement also
includes the:

    -   Inclusion of three more librarian positions into pay grade
        increases/wage adjustments.
    -   Expansion of benefit coverage to include orthodics.
    -   Improvements to the return to work agreement, including: maternity,
        paternity, adoption leave coverage; improvements on how to handle
        vacation upon return to work and extension of timeline on grievances.

    "We are looking forward to working with our employer to fully restore
public library services," says Youngberg. The library workers are expected to
return to work as early as Wednesday, October 24, 2007.
    "The public is encouraged to approach us in the library and ask us about
pay equity. We'd be happy to tell you everything we know and point you to a
book or two on the subject."
    CUPE 391 represents 770 library workers employed by the Vancouver Public
Library. This was their first strike in their 77-year history. It began on
July 26, 2007.

For further information:

For further information: Alexandra Youngberg, CUPE 391 President, (604)
908-6095; Ed Dickson, CUPE 391 bargaining chair, (778) 840-0207; Diane Kalen,
CUPE Communications, (778) 229-0258,

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Canadian Union of Public Employees

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - BC Regional

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