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
RT @DyanooshY: College strikes a symptom of broken business model: Cohn https://t.co/kPyP378RZo via @torontostar
18h
RT @kristynwongtam: Today started with @WomenWinTO training smart, progressive women to run for #TOcouncil. Thank you @bravotoronto @angval
18h
RT @WAHC: We’re having a blast at #Sam22: so glad to have such wonderful supporters #canlab https://t.co/wtATyTwrSk
18h
RT @buntyhoven: My piece on #Libraries. This is a snapshot of my working week. https://t.co/gbfXkCYwCr
18h
RT @JSSBennett: NEW @OttawaCouncil Central LIBRARY BUILD absent from @ottawacity library budget. Project was to be joint venture between @o
18h
RT @OPSEU560: During the strike, every college administrator has been paid as usual, every college manager the same. The CEC is on the payr…
18h
RT @faisalkutty: Thank you Neethan Shan and Mohammed Hashim for your leadership with this program (and others) and thank you Shree... https…
19h
RT @4rdYearsAgo: This account will tweet this article every day until election day 2018, to counter the inevitable false claims made by Dou…
19h
RT @StandWithFac: For those who call faculty "greedy" for asking for an annual pay increase of 2% (in line with inflation, so flat pay in r…
19h
RT @local350: CEC & colleges have stated that the NO vote was “a terrible result for students” You know what’s really terrible for the stu…
19h
RT @MylesMagner: Defend #workersrights,free #collectivebargaining & #qualityeducation! Resist #BTW legislation. Pack the legislature galler…
Nov 18
RT @ScottTanaka: "How do you get the 5 weeks back? You work together, you work hard and you work for the common good @JPHornick OPSEU…
Nov 18
RT @CAATfaculty: Andrea Horwath speaks to BTW legislation re #COLLEGESTRIKE #StandWithFaculty https://t.co/KNtl1BfaHA
Nov 18
RT @AndreaHorwath: College faculty will go back to work Monday and students will be back Tuesday at the latest. That's after five weeks of…
Nov 17
RT @torontolabour: Liberals back-to-work legislation in the Ontario college dispute is wrong. Instead, they should commit to proper funding…
Nov 17
RT @OPSEU556: Captions are working now: https://t.co/pzvIDR2GbY#collegestrike
Nov 17
RT @betterlivesto: Status quo budgets won’t cut it for 2018. Time for leadership so we can make transit more reliable. Tell @JohnTory and…
Nov 17
RT @Cupe1989: That elusive Trafalgar pic! Such a fun #solidarity day visiting @local244, holding the line in Peel & Halton. Congrats to #CO
Nov 17
RT @Prof_Savage: Top heavy college administrations means less $ to fulfill academic mission and support students #collegstrike #StandWithFa
Nov 17
RT @WSJ: Reference librarians, the original search engines, say they’re busier than ever. https://t.co/OMNkznX3yr
Nov 17
RT @cupw: Finally seeing criminal charges against hate speech publication. You can count on postal workers to stand up against #antisemitis
Nov 17
RT @Alexa_Milne: Totally stupid. Get the librarians back. https://t.co/MXeh9qizpG
Nov 17
RT @StandWithFac: If you can't pay a living wage, your business is unsustainable #15AndFairness If your college can't function without s…
Nov 17
RT @fairwagesnow: BREAKING #Bill148 carries forward!! Despite corporate lobbyists' best efforts, $15 #minimumwage (phased in by Jan 1, 201…
Nov 17
RT @OPSEU: College faculty have voted to reject the Council's forced contract offer by 86% in a historic vote #StandWithFaculty #onpoli #on
Nov 17
RT @Cupe1989: Library workers are faculty too! Great to meet sister #LibraryWarriors on the @local244 picket line today #StandWithFaculty
Nov 17
RT @StellaCJ: To all Library workers and all workers take this advice. Unionise, organise, and exercise your rights @wylie_alan is right.…
Nov 17
RT @DavidEhToronto: Great work @fairwagesnow let's take this to the finish line! The $15-an-hour minimum wage emerges as key in 2018 elect…
Nov 17
RT @fairwagesnow: TODAY: "As lawmakers at Queen’s Park prepare to finalize updates to the province’s employment laws, advocates say new sch…
Nov 17
RT @stephross_mac: The College Employer Council just got schooled. When you ignore workers' issues, treat them & their union with contempt,…
Nov 17
RT @wylie_alan: So library users in Barnet don't feel safe using the new open+ 'staffless' libraries so they've had to employ security guar…
Nov 17
RT @Local4948: Thank you all for standing strong against #precariouswork #respect #solidarity @4948President https://t.co/BqDq3LJpzR
Nov 17
RT @Local4948: Map Pass program loses corporate $. Time to re-invest in libraries @4948President https://t.co/4CCDYfU8N5
Nov 16
Thank you all for standing strong against #precariouswork #respect #solidarity @4948President https://t.co/BqDq3LJpzR
Nov 16
RT @CAATfaculty: 95% turn out to vote! 86% vote NO!!!!!! reject.#COLLEGESTRIKE
Nov 16
RT @wylie_alan: So library users in Barnet don't feel safe using the new open+ 'staffless' libraries so they've had to employ security guar…
Nov 16
Map Pass program loses corporate $. Time to re-invest in libraries @4948President https://t.co/4CCDYfU8N5
Nov 16
RT @Local4948: Toronto Public Library Workers #StandWithFaculty #Solidarity #ABetterPlan #ONpoli @OPSEU @4948President#PrecariousWork #li
Nov 15
RT @OPSEU#Solidarity at @GBCollege student rally! It’s time for Council to get back to the bargaining table, and negotiate a contract tha…