Week One Update

Dear Members,

Well, week one has been a whirlwind. Here are a few of the activities I’ve been up to.

Office Organization – ongoing: I know, not super exciting. But everyone has their own way of working and I’ll be better able to respond to the demands of the position once I’ve got a system that works for me in this space. Thanks to Marianne for being a big help in getting it started.

Chief Librarian Meeting: Christina and I talked about the year ahead and our desire to find shared interests and common ground when possible. It was a very positive meeting and I am looking forward to continued open and respectful dialogue around the issues we may not agree on. We will maintain the practice of holding bi-weekly meetings: these informal meetings are an opportunity for the Chief Librarian and President, along with the HR Director and 391 VP, to discuss concerns before they become full blown issues.

Union Management Meeting: This is a formal minuted meeting that takes place monthly, alternating locations between Central Library and CUPE 391 office. There are generally 4 representatives on each side of the table, and we discuss ongoing or new issues affecting the membership. Union representatives on this committee are members of the Executive. Some of the agenda items have been long-standing and will remain as discussion items for some time; for example: branch staffing review implementation and advancement opportunities (acting and transfer form). Other items are ones we expect to be able to close soon, and new agenda items often arise out of our bi-weekly discussions. All minutes are posted on the Hub and can be readily accessed.

Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) Meeting: This very important committee meets monthly and is about to undergo significant growth in the number of members, with supervisors becoming member reps and additional area reps added to the team. More communication to come around this. My attendance at this first meeting was in an observational role and I am impressed by how much work the past and current members have done with this committee.

Inaugural Library Board Meeting: The first Board meeting of the year was an opportunity to introduce myself as your representative, along with Julian Key Member-at-Large. I have had the opportunity to attend a number of these meetings in the past, and Julian has been regularly attending for some time, so we were not new faces for the returning Board members. This year sees many new Board members with a new Chair and so we welcomed them with a brief intro of who 391 is. We reported to the Board that we would be presenting follow-ups to the Pay Equity Report and Branch Staffing Review Response in coming months. This Board was welcoming and friendly, with many coming over to introduce themselves to Julian and I. There were wonderful presentations from the new Indigenous Storyteller, Joseph A. Dandurand, and Accessible Services Coordinator, Karen Liebel. Before moving in to the in-camera portion of the meeting, we were all witness to an open and thoughtful dialogue regarding the Meeting Room Booking Policy review. We heard many times that the health and safety of staff need to be considered, and so we are looking forward to contributing to the process of the policy review as it moves forward.

HR Director Meeting: Past President Aliza established the practice of a weekly check-in with the Director of Human Resources and I will be continuing with the practice. Similar to the bi-weekly in that it is informal, this regular meeting is an opportunity to go through the list of grievances and other out-standing items to make sure both parties are up to date with timelines and responses to requests for information. Balwinder and I also talked broadly about the relationship going forward, with the shared desire to have productive and respectful communication.

This coming week I am off to the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) School for a week-long bargaining course. Everyone on our bargaining committee is taking the course this month; level 1 or 2 depending on their level of experience. We will be meeting as a committee in early February to begin developing our bargaining plan and will soon be reaching out to you for members input.

Yours in solidarity,