The First Anniversary of CUPE Local 391 Vancouver Public Library Workers Struggle for Pay Equity

July 24th, 2007 – CUPE 391 closes Central library and moves on to Kitsilano, Oakridge, Strathcona, Carnegie, and Renfrew for hour long study sessions.  Members want to go on the picket line that day.

July 25th, 2007 – Paul Moist, President of CUPE National rallies the troops at Post Mount P. Solidarity is building.  The Bargaining Committee visits Firehall that afternoon. We have four main issues:

  • Pay Equity
  • Rights for Part-time and Auxiliary employees and their families
  • Better Job Security protection and Technological Change language
  • Improved benefits for our members and their families

July 26, 2007 CUPE local 391 makes good on the 97% strike vote, the highest in the region.

Taking job action was not an easy decision for Vancouver Public Library workers to make. Over the years we have determined that serving the public was more important than having our own needs met. This time our fight for pay equity served to support female-dominated workforces everywhere and our sense of dignity and quest for fairness, equaliy and respect at the bargaining table.  This is our only strike in our 78 years as a bargaining unit. We went out for a principle: equal pay for work of equal value and in the process, to end gender discrimination.

Going on strike in achieved a measure of coalition-building with other female-dominated work forces, workshops designed for library conference, and a tangible pride and solidarity is shared amongst our members and friends. We built a foundation for our struggle and will be identified forever with some of the most interesting and creative approaches to establishing participatory adult education activities around the subject of pay equity.

We have learned from other equality-seeking groups that we must also engage politically to achieve our ends.  The members we support and elect for Vancouver City Council and the provincial legislature will determine how successful our campaign will be.

Breaking new ground in the realm of ending gender discrimination is messy and takes time and continued infusion of energy, ideas and planning.  This is where CUPE 391 shines as a collective.

CUPE 391 members genuinely love serving the public.  Today continue to deliver quality public service and defend the public’s ownership of it in all areas of library service.

Meet and greet your friends today in a Wellness walk around the library. Remember what was and what is possible. Pizza and other forms of sustenance will be available between 12-2.00 p.m. today .  We will be handing out highly collectible and coveted pins.

CUPE BC slams a homer for CUPE 391 August 29th.

CUPE BC has bought 500 tickets for CUPE locals 391, 15, 1004 and 389
(District of North Vancouver) to attend the Canadians game at Nat Bailey
Stadium, August 29th.  Please send an email to Alex at by August 15 if you wish to attend.  We have
been given 75 passes but may receive more if interest is rampant.

This is a celebration of our solidarity. Sign up and join the festivities.
Prize tosses, one between inning on-field contest, hot dogs, drinks – the
pleasures are endless. We also need a game day team.  Please volunteer to
help put CUPE 391 Vancouver Public Library’s name out there.  (We get some
advertising space)

Visioning 2015 and All Staff Planning Committee
The suggestion of combining Visioning 2015 and All Staff Action Planning Committee met with resistance from CUPE 391.  We are concerned that the mandate of the All Staff Action Planning Committee will be watered down when cojoined with the 2015 Vision Committee.

Role of the ASAP committee