78.1% Vote to Reject Mediator’s Recommendations

Today more than 540 CUPE 391 members cast their vote with 78.1% voting in favour of rejecting mediator Brian Foley’s recommendations.

On Sunday, the Bargaining Committee recommended rejection of the proposed settlement because it fell short in addressing the Union’s key issues like pay equity and improved rights for part-time and auxiliary workers. We had hoped that this might be a way to expedite the bargaining process to find fair settlement, but unfortunately there are some significant issues that still need to be more equitably addressed.

Since then, many members have expressed how disappointed they are with the mediator’s proposal. Making a significant step towards achieving pay equity is a priority for our membership and we know that you feel very strongly that we cannot agree to a deal that only applies to 45% of our membership. This means that 55% of our members, many of which are among our lowest wage earners, would not receive any wage adjustments during the term of the collective agreement.

However, despite the disappointment, the Bargaining Committee maintains that Foley’s recommendations could form the basis for a future final settlement for the library, and they are encouraging the Vancouver Public Library to sit down and work with them to create a “library-made” solution.  We believe that with a few minor modifications we could find a resolution to this labour dispute that our members would be able to accept.

The Bargaining Committee will be meeting tomorrow.  We’ll keep you informed as things unfold.

Thank you for your strength and solidarity.