Toronto Public Library Workers Union

Many people associate unions exclusively with industrial or construction trades workers or those in manual labour occupations with low education requirements. But in Canada and elsewhere in the world, highly educated professional workers, especially those who work in the public sector, often belong to unions.

Equal Treatment

While their workplaces are generally safer than those in industry, construction or manual labour occupations, their needs for fair treatment are the same.

lib2.0Library workers are dedicated to their profession. The years of post-secondary training it requires to become a professional Librarian with a Master's degree are costly and not easily transferable to another occupation. Librarians have made a significant investment in their careers akin to an investment in a house. Belonging to a union is a type of insurance that their investment will be protected against arbitrary treatment and that they will have input into their compensation and working conditions. Many are willing to work part-time while waiting for a full-time position to open up. The years they spend working part-time should count towards their right to full-time work when it becomes available. Only a union can help ensure this.

Other classifications of library workers, such as Public Service Assistants, are in the same position as Librarians. They must be highly educated and typically have to work part-time for years before a full-time position opens up for them. Another classification - Pages - constitutes the single largest group of Toronto library workers. There are currently about 600 Toronto Public Library Pages. All work part-time and most are paid close to the Ontario Minimum Wage.

Since Toronto amalgamation in 1998, the public library workforce has decreased by ten percent while circulation has gone up by 25 per cent. This is a very large productivity increase, per worker.

All the evidence is that the library workers' union has contributed to the maintenance of an experienced, stable and dedicated workforce by ensuring fairness and security and promoting professional development. There has never been a strike in the Toronto Public Library. 

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17h
#LibraryWarriors from @Local4948 w/ Stacey, Nfld+Lab Library Warrior at #CUPE2019 in sunny Saskatoon ⁦… https://t.co/yHUdEtrudE
Mar 19
RT @Brandon4948: Planning and scheming at the CUPE National Bargaining Conference in Saskatoon @Local4948#LibraryWarriors 🤓 https://t
Mar 19
@cupenat⁩ Rally in support of Local 1975 U of Saskatchewan support workers #makesomenoise #Solidarityhttps://t.co/jRWQitMAFh
Mar 19
RT @cartwrightTO: Nobody will lose their jobs! (But there will be 5000 less of you doing the same work #hypocrisy #FordNation #CutsHurtKid
Mar 19
RT @4948Warriors: Sadly, yes #StafflessLibraries are operating in Toronto. An idea dreamt up by senior administrators at @torontolibrary @…
Mar 19
At #CUPE2019 Bargaining Con in #Saskatoon listening to Stacey from @cupe2329 present their awesome campaign to succ… https://t.co/5db1dLXowf
Mar 19
RT @CUPE391Pres: Historic Strikes Presentation from @cupenat Historic Strike Panel - Greater Vancouver clerical workers in 1981 for #payequ
Mar 19
RT @Fred_Shilson: Great panel on strikes here in Saskatoon during the Plenary at the CUPE National Bargaining Conference #CUPE cc @GShank
Mar 19
RT @osbcucscso: Excellent lessons to be learned from @Local4948#torontopubliclibrary 2012 strike. Their organization & mobilization among…
Mar 19
#LibraryWorker Gobi Sooriyakumar on panel at #CUPE2019 presenting on @Local4948’s successful strike #unionhistoryhttps://t.co/5BUnJt9KWB
Mar 16
RT @torontolabour: We are deeply saddened by the murders of Muslim worshippers in New Zealand. A stark reminder that we must all work to ch…
Mar 16
Library workers stand against Islamophobia and right-wing hatred. Our hearts are with those who lost loved ones in… https://t.co/kZtVIPOg8p
Mar 13
RT @4948Warriors: TO City Council continues their legacy of underappreciation of our public library. 2019 budget is underwhelming @Joh
Mar 10
RT @CUPEOntario: Celebrating child care champions and library warriors for #iwd2019 #InternationWomensDay @ChildCareON @Local4948 https://…
Mar 10
RT @4948Warriors: Enjoying the IWD march with@TPLWU4948Pres⁩ Brendan and@cartwrightTO@torontolabour⁩ Nice toques@Local4948@IWD
Mar 09
Beautiful weather for #iwd2019 in #TOpoli today #LibraryWarriors on the March #solidarity @TPLWU4948Preshttps://t.co/Z0QUA9EGGR
Mar 08
Happy International Women’s Day from the @4948Warriors! See you all tomorrow at the #IWDay2019 March @TPLWU4948Preshttps://t.co/Vv15RPXAAA
Mar 08
RT @kristynwongtam: I first learned in 2010 how much Torontonians love their libraries during my first budget process. Still true in 2019!…
Mar 08
RT @progresstoronto: Councillor @kristynwongtam points out that the city budget is being balanced on TTC fares which disproportionately hur…
Mar 08
RT @kristynwongtam: Thank you NOW readers for voting me Best City Councillor for the four years in a row. It's a true honour to serve the…
Mar 08
RT @GShankz @HiJingks talking about how @Local4948 participated in the #TTC #subway takeover to fight against @fordnation’s greed for #TTC
Mar 08
⁦⁩ With Jagmeet at the@torontolabour⁩ council tonight #librarywarriors #topoli@TPLWU4948Pres@CUPEOntario⁩… https://t.co/f8oE940uEs
Mar 07
RT @progresstoronto: Councillor Layton points out that instead of increasing property taxes just a little more for every homeowner across t…
Mar 05
RT @kristynwongtam: Join us for the Gender & Equity Budgeting Town Hall on March 6. Vote on city budget priorities w @DataOnTheSpot technol…
Feb 27
RT @wylie_alan: Advice for anyone planning to or currently running a volunteer-led ‘library’; Don’t take Library Workers jobs. Don’t claim…
Feb 27
Suspect in Toronto library shooting nabbed in Bracebridge https://t.co/rWNSvPrr4e via @orilliamattershttps://t.co/xXxBZIT9oS
Feb 22
LibraryWarriors @Local4948 at Lawrence St getting the message out to save #OurSubway @torontolabour @ttcridershttps://t.co/OFdYBRfA1v
Feb 22
RT @ttcriders: In just under 24 hours we'll be at 35 subway stations reaching more than 35,000 transit riders! Join us between 8am and 9am…
Feb 22
RT @cartwrightTO: You gotta be kidding! Anyone who thinks #FordNation will find $Billions in new money to improve transit is hallucinating…
Feb 22
RT @torontolabour: Bravo @ATU_113 transit workers bring a clear message to 1.5 M commuters today #solidarity #OurSubway https://t.co/Qrb00
Feb 22
Library workers want to continue serving our communities directly with face-to-face human interaction. https://t.co/2Qmb3gbKdv
Feb 19
RT @wylie_alan: Is it great news that a statutory public library service is put out to tender and a gov backed ‘mutual’ wins the contract f…