Librarians set to book out as talks stall

Librarians in Toronto, Canada, are set to strike.

Talks to avert a strike that would close the city\'s 98 libraries at midnight tonight are on the verge of collapse, a union official said yesterday.

The city\'s 2,500 librarians will walk if a deal isn\'t reached by the strike deadline. \"We haven\'t had the major issues dealt with at this point,\" said Toronto Civic Employees\' Union Local 416 president Brian Cochrane.

Those issues include job security, hours of work, harmonization of wages, equitable treatment for part-timers and shift premiums.

\"There\'s a $6,500 difference between the highest and lowest paid librarians in Toronto,\" Cochrane said.

The average librarian makes between $35,000-$42,000 annually.

Librarian Josephine Bryant said she remains confident a settlement can be reached.

\"We are continuing to bargain toward a settlement and are confident that this goal can be reached,\" she said in a statement.

In the event of a strike all services including bookmobile and home reader services will be suspended.

No fines would be charged on library materials due while a strike is in effect.

Talks are continuing.

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