We sent the following letter to the Executive Director of the Mississauga Public Library today, urging the Board to come to the table with a fair and equitable contract for the library workers of CUPE Local 1989.
July 6, 2016
Director of Library Services
Mississauga Library System
301 Burnhamthorpe Road W
Mississauga, ON L5B 3Y3
Dear Ms. Vespa:
The members of the Progressive Librarians Guild-GTA chapter wish to express their unreserved support for the members of CUPE Local 1989 as they enter into job action over the lack of a fair and equitable contract offered by the City of Mississauga.
More than half of the workers at the Mississauga Public Library work part time, with no benefits, paid sick time, or paid vacation. It is our understanding that the contract that was tabled addressed a pay increase, but that rings hollow when the majority of workers cannot make a living wage with part time hours. Precarious work is a troubling trend and one that disproportionately affects women, young people, and newcomers - the very populations that public libraries seek to serve. The very nature of precarious work makes it difficult, if not impossible, to properly connect with and serve community members.
We call on the Board to return to the table and address the demands of CUPE Local 1989 to offer a fair and equitable contract that values the important work of their membership.
The membership of PLG-GTA*
Cc. Laura Kaminker, President of CUPE Local 1989
*The PLG GTA is a chapter of the Progressive Librarians Guild. We are Toronto-area library workers who are concerned with social justice and equality issues. As library workers, we recognize that the increasing lack of job security, de-professionalization, and casualization of our profession threatens the “free public sphere which makes an independent democratic civil society possible.”