Workers set to shutdown region's libraries

All-out strike could come soon, union official says

After a week-long pause in their job action campaign, Greater Victoria Regional Library workers plan to walk off the job all day today (Sept. 21), while their strike committee meets to decide the next step.

The strike will shut down all eight library branches.

The workers have staged two three-hour pickets in the last two weeks. After their last action last Thursday, the union said it would give the library seven days to come to the table with a new offer.

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I have an offer...

I have an offer they should make... how about get back to work or look for work.

I really feel a lot of sympathy for these poor library workers in BC. This article lists the salaries they have to put up with. A library clerk in Victoria makes only $17.58 (17.57US) and and MLS librarian is paid 27.66CAD (27.63US)

Try not to get run over by the carloads of librarians driving north for good salaries and good ski areas.

Fire them. I can show you hundreds of librarians who would happily work there - for the clerk's wage.

Re:I have an offer...

Why don't you put your anger towards fair wages for all? Is it ok with you that a librarian makes less than others with the same level of education--working for the same employer? Is it ok with you that auxilliary workers receive no benefits, no sick days, no security at all, even though many of them are working regular full time hours, for years? SHAME ON YOU! Instead of working for equal pay--which is a human right--you prefer to use your energy to throw out flip comments, such as above. Maybe, all you down there (who have the same attitude as you do) should do something about it. Get off your high horse and get down and do the work to rectify the situation. I will bet you do not even know what we are really fighting for, do you?

Re:I have an offer...

"Is it ok with you that a librarian makes less than others with the same level of education--working for the same employer? "
Yes,it is OK with me that someone makes more or less than someone else with the same education in the same position. Better employees with more skills, or more experience, or more dedication, or more drive, or who are always on time, or who have a great attitude and because of that are employees with whom others enjoy working should get paid more than someone who meets the basic requirements.

Is it ok with you that auxilliary workers receive no benefits, no sick days, no security at all, even though many of them are working regular full time hours, for years?
Again, yes it is OK with me that workers choose to work in positions that pay no benefits and offer them no sick days. I fail to see what no security at all is when your next sentence is that they have been working full time for years. Is that not securiry a full time long term job?

Shame on me? I am not ashamed of feeling that workers are free to be the best workers they can be and people are free to demonstrate that they are the best candidate for a better job.

I've been to BC many times, I even have relatives there. No one is forcing these people to take these jobs. Heck look at the online front pageof the Times Colonist Newspaper in Victoria. There are so many job openings they list them on the front page.

I'll give you that the right to work is a Human Right, everyone certainly has the right to work to support themselves and their families. And I'll even go so far as to agree that there should be equal pay for equal work such that the pay for a man or a woman, a black person or a asian person, a handicapped person or someone who by the grace of God is not handicapped, when performing the same job is a must. To do otherwise is immoral.

However a library clerk is not a city clerk or a parking ticket clerk or a neurologist. Exact same work, exact same abilities, exact same tenure, exact same duties require the exact same pay.

I do know what you are complaining about. You are complaining that workers in the library who have the similar job titles and similar duties be paid the same as other city workers. You say it was promised by the city. The city seems to disagree. I can't see how a clerk at city hall and a clerk at the library are the same job. If the workers cannot switch positions or cross cover one another they certainly are not.

The wage is posted when the position is posted, if workers do not want to work for that wage then they should not apply for the position.

You want more money because you think you deserve it. I fail to see why. If you can demonstrate that you are worth more money then demonstrate it to your supervisor so you may be considered for an increase in salary or a promotion.

Until then take your twenty-ish dollars an hour and get back to work or look for work.

Society does not owe you a living, just the opportunity to make one.

Re:I have an offer...

You are of course entitled to your opinion. I look at it the other way: who wants to work for an employer who treats their employees with little respect. Yes, the bar has been raised as to what one expects as an employee (you can thank organized labour for that to a large extent) so it may seem that the extreme measure of going out on strike is overkill for what seems to be petty issues. It's the rather clumsy tool we have for dealing with unreasonable employers. What is perhaps lost in the debates and spin is that these issues will be settled and both parties will agree to the settlement, it's just a case of when. So if you want educated, motivated employees who will stay for a while it pays to treat them well.

I guess it comes down to how you feel about collective bargaining. It's pretty prevalent in your country I believe.

Your take is pretty negative and quite frankly I wouldn't want to work for you although I'm sure that won't come up.

(I am a member of CUPE local 391, Vancouver Public Library, currently on strike for 61 days)

Re:I have an offer...

I think unions are the scourge of the earth. The best tool you have is to quit and get a better job.

Why don't the workers simply quit and get a better job where they feel appreciated? I would. In fact I did, that is why I am not a public librarian in my local library any longer.

Re:I have an offer...

"I think unions are the scourge of the earth."

That so? Why not be honest, let it hang out, for once, mcdoneil, and say it outloud: kill them! Kill all union workers!! Kill, kill, kill them! Only proper thing to do - don't you think? - with scourges, like cockroaches and West Nile virus-bearing mosquitos, kill them!

Re:I have an offer...

Nope, I am against killing things. The death penalty, murder I oppose them on moral grounds. Killing people who disagree with me.... I'd get lonely after a while being the only person on the earth.

Cockroaches... well generally I throw a cup over them, slide a piece of cardboard under it and fling them outside - two reasons one they stink when you squish them and two I don't like killing things.

Mosquitos, wear bug repellant. I live in Florida I know mosquitos.

You don't have to agree with me. Heck you don't have to read what I write, but if you do you will find that I may challenge your assumptions, your views, and your beliefs. I tell people what I think. Feel free to do the same to me, I expect it but seldom get it. To grow personally and intellectually we must challenge ourselves, and through frank discussion we can do that.

Re:I have an offer...

"think unions are the scourge of the earth."

Aw c'mon! Tell us how you feel! :)

I think we can agree to disagree on this point.

On the other hand, we can produce some funny videos about labour negotiations ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7LkxkQf7Yc ) which, I must say, management has failed to do. I am speaking in regards to the Vancouver Public Library now. (I'm not sure what else management are doing in there, surely they could slap some video on youtube.)

Re:I have an offer...

Your assertion that unions are a "scourge" is extreme and appalling. One can only surmise in your saying this you would thus favor child labor and 18 hour work days, which still would be with us if it were not for unions and the willingness of some unionists late in the 19th century and early in the 20th to die for resisting corporatist-government-imposed oppression and slave-like and toxic/polluted work conditions. Which reminds me, you ought to consider moving to mainland China, a roaringly capitalist country (these days) that is completely free of the "scourge" of unions. Your apparent nostalgia for pre-union work conditions of an earlier America ought to make modern-day China a paradise for you there.Also, if you know a little Spanish, you might instead prefer considering a host of central American and Caribbean countries that employ gazillions of folks in slave-wage sweat-shops under arduous conditions, to put it mildly, and with no taint of unionism to be seen or heard. (And when they are, they are very quickly extinguished. The Big Jefes there know how to deal "firmly" with union punks, something you would find admirable, I'm sure.)

Re:I have an offer...

For you to surmise that I favor child labor and 18 hour work days is frankly ignorant. Never did I say that unions did not previously serve a purpose. 'Are' is present tense, thus my opinion that unions are the scourge of the earth should be understood by its plain reading, not by whatever half-witted moronic conclusions you wish to draw.

Certainly union efforts were the genesis of many of the laws that today protect workers and the public. However I feel that unions have long ago changed their purpose and become simply organs to enrich their leaders on the backs of the worker.

I was going to respond in Spanish as I do indeed speak Spanish having lived in Mexico and volunteered at medical clinics in Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras. I also have a nice grasp of Ixil having spent quite some time at a clinic in Nebaj Guatemala and contributed to a Spanish-Ixil-English medical dictionary.

So before you tell me what I think perhaps you should ask me I'd be happy to tell you. Suggesting that I am in favor of abusing workers or that I approve of some Communist country's labor laws and should consider moving there simply makes me regard you as a lunatic with no substantive thought to add to any discussion.

I have spent enough time in my life dealing with morons so this shall be my final response to your stupidity.

Re:I have an offer...

If you have spent enough time "dealing with morons," be sure to avoid the mirror.

Re:I have an offer...

In thinking about it a bit, your claim that "'Are' is present tense, thus my opinion that unions are the scourge of the earth should be understood by its plain reading" is, I think, open to challenge. Such a use of "are" can also easily be meant to make a kind of absolute judgment of all unions in all times and places unless one qualifies it or limit its scope, such as, 'In recent years, unions, in many cases, have become a scourge." I would not have had a problem with that statement, as I would agree with it.But given the long and oft-times heroic, and self-sacrificing history of unions or its members, which you seem *loath* to acknowledge without verbal combat pulling it out of you, by you original statement, such a simple but blanket statement as you made without qualifiers makes you the moron. If your were more nuanced in your thinking and perhaps better educated, that is, less KNEE-JERK and hyper-reactive, you would recognize few entities or institutions in this world - maybe you live in another one? - can be *declared* to be a scourge or evil without qualification, especially if it has much that is demonstrably good in its history. (Hint: sone of the few times one can imply a such a negative judgment as universal truth, "Nazis are a scourge," "Tyrants are scourge," etc.)And how the f*ck do you know even *all* present unions exist to be exploited by its leaders? You have documentation for that claim, did you do a survey, you who likes to dot his I's and cross his t's when it is convenient and gives the illusory impression you are intelligent?

Unions are great!

Last month I ordered a Saturn Sky (yellow convertible). They are very popular and there were none other than demonstrators on the dealer's lot.

I picked out what I wanted and made a small deposit. I should have my car in 3 months or so. Wait, UAW went on strike today. Guess I won't be getting my car now. I called the dealership and canceled the order (this would have been my 3rd Saturn) and they are going to refund my deposit.

I think I'll go look at the CLK sedans at Mercedes (same family owns both dealerships in my town)

Unions sure help employees, now they have one fewer car to make!

The Canadians think so too!

Hey, those nice union folks at GM in the states, the ones who are only getting two hundred bucks a week plus health benefits (you'd think they were librarians but the UAW folks don't have to go to work) have put one hundred thousand Canadians out of work.

Lets hear it for the unions!

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