July 21, 2012
REGINA – Regina Public Library workers, CUPE Local 1594, voted last night to accept the tentative agreement reached with the Regina Public Library bargaining committee one week ago.
“We’re pleased to be finished negotiations,“ says CUPE 1594 President Debbie Mihial. “Our members were without a new agreement for over two and half years.”
The new contract includes increases of 2.5 per cent effective January 1, 2010; 2 per cent effective January 01, 2011; 2.5 per cent effective January 1, 2012, and 4 per cent effective January 1, 2013. The contract includes full retroactivity.
The four-year agreement ensures the same health and dental benefits for full-time and part-time workers, for both current and future employees. The settlement also includes that the joint job evaluation process, previously agreed to by the parties, will be used to ensure all new and changed positions are appropriately compensated.
“I’d like to thank our members for their resolve during this long and difficult process,” adds Mihial. “We appreciated the public’s support during our negotiations, and members were committed to ensuring that the public was minimally disrupted.”
The previous contract expired on December 31, 2009. Workers gave their bargaining committee a strong strike mandate on April 2, 2012. The Regina Public Library Board then provided their supposed final offer on April 4 during conciliation.
The Board insisted that libraries needed to be open longer hours on Sunday. The new agreement ensures that workers will be adequately compensated if they are required to work longer hours on Sunday.
“We achieved the same increase that other municipal workers in Regina received over that past three years,” said CUPE National Representative Guy Marsden. “Membership solidarity, public support, and assistance from the conciliator were instrumental in concluding negotiations. We hope that we see a less aggressive, more positive approach from the Board next round.”
CUPE 1594 represents approximately 180 library workers at Regina Public Library.