Allen Garr returns to the pages of the Vancouver Courier in this morning’s edition with a piece entitled “Obstinate city extends strike” (The Vancouver Courier, September 5-07, p. 10). Garr takes senior city staff and mayor Sam Sullivan to task for unnecessarily prolonging the city’s dispute with its unionized workers. Garr maintains that Sullivan is particularly concerned that blame for the nearly seven week strike will be laid squarely at his door: “Sullivan said he was doing what ‘every other mayor’ had done in labour disputes. This is pure fiction. So is his claim that the five year deal was originally his idea.”
Garr also alleges that the three Vancouver locals went on strike without any particular game plan or sense of what could be gained or lost. This is simply not true. After almost eight months of bargaining with no progress, we were acutely aware of what was at stake. Our key proposals remain of utmost importance to our local and our ability to continue to provide top-rate library service. Garr also claims that the current offer of a five year contract and a 17.5 per cent increase would have been there without a strike. When 17.5% has still not officially been offered to us, to say that it could be achieved without a strike is speculation at its best.
The Greater Victoria Public Library (http://www.gvpl.ca) has confirmed that its unionized employees, represented by CUPE 410(http://www.cupe410.ca/), served 72 hour strike notice on Tuesday morning. Staff will be in a legal position to initiate job action this Friday morning. Stay tuned for further developments.