It has been a long 7 days since we last spoke to our Employer. On Friday, August 17, our Employer received our list of current proposals and said that they would get back to us. Since then we have been waiting for them to return to the bargaining table with a response.
We had hoped that the Employer would respond by at least the end of this week, but so far we have not heard a word from them. After a full week with no response in sight, we are starting to wonder what has happened to them. Have they forgotten that we are here?
We realize that they must be busy with all the extra work they must do while we are on strike, but with more than 780 library workers on the picket line and thousands of library users waiting for their libraries to reopen, it seems to us that getting on with negotiations and responding to our issues should maybe be a bit higher on their priority list.
The only way we are going to find a fair resolution to this strike is for our Employer, the Vancouver Public Library Board, to take a leadership role. Perhaps rather than telling us what they and the City of Vancouver cannot do, maybe they could try working with us so we can address our key issues of pay equity, job security, benefits, and improved rights for part-time and auxiliary workers.
Further, maybe it is finally time that VPL Board Chair Joan Andersen and the other VPL Board members publically come forward and fulfill their role as library advocates so that people can get the library services they need and deserve, and we can get back to doing what we do so well – serving the public and providing great library service.