CUPE 391 Update

  • Library Board Meeting August 27, 2008 5.30 p.m. Alma Van Dusen and Peter Kay rooms
  • Central Reorganisation
  • Contracting out CUPE 391 work
  • Baseball tickets for Canadians August 29th game @Nat Bailey
  • Justice Rocks
  • Scholarships
  • Municipal Elections

Library Board Meeting August 27, 2008 5.30 p.m. Alma Van Dusen and Peter Kay room
Please notify Chrysalin @ 604-331-4003 if you plan to attend the Library Board Meeting.  The meeting is being held in the Alma and Pete because the Library is expecting a large delegation of people from the Strathcona community.  These people are concerned about the purchase of the Heatley block for the new Strathcona Library.  It should be a lively evening.
The Union will be presenting on contracting out of our work.  We need our members presence to show the Library Board how seriously we and our public take cuts to public service.

Central Reorganisation
Please let the Executive know how best we can support you. Send us your concerns about your placement and we will work to make it better.  Some of the seniority grievances have helped to place members in a more satisfactory location or to stay where they are.  Put in for your lateral transfers if you so desire and if you have not already done so.  The Union would like to mount a public awareness campaign on the loss of public service through the deskilling of librarians, lack of trained staff in subject areas and the contacting out of work. We need your ideas and support.

  • How many patrons are leaving the service desk because of lack of staff at the service desk?
  • What kind of complaints are there?
  • How much training have you received in your new position?
  • Do you feel your qualifications are adequate for your new position?
  • How long do you think it will take for you to absorb the breadth and depth of your current collection?
  • Do clerical assistants and Library Technicians attempt to answer reference questions normally reserved for the professionally trained staff with Masters in Library Science?
  • How many staff are working on the desk today compared to last year?  Two years ago? Four years ago?  Have the reference stats changed?
  • Do you ever work alone?

This is a sampling of the kind of questions you might like to consider.  We are sure you have your own valuable experience to offer.  We are a collective.  Let’s start collecting data.

Contracting out CUPE 391 work

This is mysterious business.  The Union has offered concrete proof in the form of three surveys that Management has poor communications skills.  This takes the cake.  We hear through the grapevine that maintenance work is being contracted out at the new Mount Pleasant Library.  We hear from a member of management that no, it’s Kensington.  Finally, we get an email after Union Management that it is Mount Pleasant but nobody knows who ordered it, or if CUPE 15 gets the contract or if goes to a private company.

CUPE 15 does not have an answer.  The Parks Board does not know and the Library Board does not know.  Now, if the work is going to CUPE 15 because of the joint nature of the building site (it has a community centre also) the Parks Board would be the body making the decision.  The Library Board makes the decision for libraries regarding the number of employees and if they are contract workers or CUPE 391 workers.  Who is the Employer?

These questions are vital to a union membership.  Before the strike we had 51% full-time members and 49% part time and auxiliary staff.  These figures are now reversed.  We do not want to give the care of the public’s libraries to private companies that need to care about the size of their profit.  We care about the excellence of our public service.  The slippery slope is beckoning even though the Library Board director said that this would not happen.  Come to the Library Board meeting next Wednesday and support our public service.

Baseball tickets for Canadians August 29th game @Nat Bailey
This is going to be a glorious event.  Four unions are being treated by CUPE BC to dogs, drinks and baseball!  It does not get any better.  Meet your counterparts in other city departments.  Ask them how much money they are making.  (Little Pay Equity dig; we try to slip them in where we can).  Celebrate the summer of solidarity.

CUPE BC needs a few members to take tickets.  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. Please send an email to Alex at by August 26 if you wish to attend. We have been given 125 passes and many are gone.

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