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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May 30
RT @progresstoronto: How can Toronto build back better? Join us 7pm Tuesday for "Toronto in Crisis: A discussion on what urgent funding & a…
May 30
RT @CUPEOntario: CUPE members are mourning the death of another front-line health care worker from a long-term care facility. In the wake…
May 28
RT @cupelocal1328: May 28, 2020 @ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm Join the CUPE Ontario Human Rights Committee for a telephone town hall call with NDP M…
May 27
RT @4948president: Shoutout to @MargaretAtwood for being a solid voice in defense of #Libraries and public services in Toronto and beyond.…
May 26
Right to Ride: Impact of Covid-19 on Public Transit Tickets, Wed, May 27, 2020 at 7:00 PM | Eventbrite ⁦… https://t.co/SrrpaicplA
May 26
RT @4948president: On behalf of @Local4948 I wish to offer condolences to the family and friends of Megan Whitfield, a pioneer in the labou…
May 23
Please sign and share. It's time for a new deal for #Toronto https://t.co/rL9A5uhyLI#COVIDー19 @4948presidenthttps://t.co/0FjVjdMNXx
May 23
RT @wylie_alan: LIBRARIES SHOULD ONLY OPEN WHEN IT’S SAFE TO DO SO LIBRARIES SHOULD ONLY OPEN WHEN IT’S SAFE TO DO SO LIBRARIES SHOULD ONLY…
May 23
RT @CUPEOntario: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Increasing testing and contact tracing will keep us safe and create jobs: CUPE Ontario #canpoli
May 21
RT @librarianmer: Like restaurants, libraries doing curbside should have limits on the number of people who can get materials at any partic…
May 21
RT @wylie_alan: Any conversation on reopening libraries needs to start from the basis of safety. If there are doubts then don’t reopen and…
May 21
RT @librarianjenn: Here is@BookRiot⁩, once again, being spot on with a piece about the disregard for library worker safety #ProtectLibra
May 21
RT @braunsk: Dear publications that write about libraries, Be like @BookRiot. They've written nuanced articles about the difficult situati…
May 21
RT @librarianjenn: For real with this title? I cannot handle this anymore. We are not saviors. We are trying to get by like everyone else.…
May 21
RT @mrbnatural10: My best friend described curbside as “We're prioritizing the comfort of the privileged for the safety of the vulnerable”…
May 21
RT @JenniferinIN: Before utilizing curbside pickup, I think it’s important for patrons to ask how/if the books are being quarantined or san…
May 21
RT @allisonrandom: Just wrote a very long email to my local public radio station, which I greatly respect, about their coverage of curbside…
May 21
RT @fairwagesnow: Join us May 21st on our Day of Action for 21 Paid Sick Days! Pandemic or not, no worker should be forced to go to work…
May 21
Take action now! Sign + share https://t.co/jallaqdvUO CUPE workers must fight to protect their pension and their fu… https://t.co/LLep9tp39p
May 21
RT @OscarRLanza: I feel that I am one of the handful of #library directors who argues that library curbside is a horrible idea. There are n…
May 21
RT @4948president: “We want to get it right”: Public library not ready to open - https://t.co/PJDBe4lAWy https://t.co/CbQ8YiQ9GT
May 20
"Libraries are resilient, they say, ignoring the fact that it’s not safe for patrons or staff to open the libraries… https://t.co/mUKvJKi8BD
May 20
#Libraryworkers are disappointed by @torontolibrary rushed approach re: proposed curbside service at largest librar… https://t.co/Qzcgo42hIS
May 17
RT @4948president: Word of caution to@JohnTory⁩ & others. Musing about reopening timelines without careful consideration of facts is unwi…
May 17
RT @JILLSLASTWORD: I'll say it loud: I'm Black, Queer & I'm Proud! Today is Int'l Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia. Commit ev…
May 17
The Toronto Public Library Workers are proud to have negotiated groundbreaking language in our new Collective Agree… https://t.co/ctzS99WwUX
May 16
RT @4948president: Library workers are working very hard to slowly return to a “new normal”. Plans to reopen are underway and need to be ro…
May 15
RT @CUPEOntario: Let's raise our voices to demand at least 7 paid, permanent sick days for everyone—plus an additional 14 during outbreaks.…
May 15
RT @ETFOeducators: SAVE THE DATE MAY 21! There will be an online action because every worker needs 21 paid sick days right now! Join us, @…
May 14
RT @4948president: The phased reopening of Ontario libraries needs to be very well-planned to ensure safety and well-being of all library w…
May 14
RT @BarackObama: Michelle and I want to do our part to give all you parents a break today, so we’re reading “The Word Collector” for @chipu
May 14
Share this event from @CWN_TOlabour @4948president @torontolabour Thu, May 28, 2020 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM EDT https://t.co/vL52aZOx1N
May 13
RT @cupenat: CUPE @Local4948's innovative pandemic bargaining technique has led to ground-breaking language on paid leave for trans-affirmi…
May 13
RT @addarioandrea: Workers at Toronto Public Library(@Local4948 of CUPE) ratified a new collective agreement, bargained via video conf dur…
May 13
RT @stephvanstralen: We still killin' it at the online bargaining table during a pandemic @Local4948 https://t.co/HGuMVjvnAq
Apr 28
April 28 is the National #DayOfMourning to remember the workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness a… https://t.co/4AxwXqoEQm
Apr 13
RT @EllaBedard: I truly love this. Library workers have refashioned book distro centres into food warehouses and are using their expertise…
Apr 10
RT @torontolife: "We see libraries as community hubs and librarians as public servants." The Toronto Public Library is turning its branches…
Apr 10
RT @stephvanstralen: This is what members of @Local4948 do every day. They are always providing quality services to the public in their pai…
Apr 08
RT @torontolibrary: We've partnered with the North York Harvest Food Bank, Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest to set up food bank dis…
Apr 02
#LibraryWorkers support Health Care Workers in Hospitals and LongTerm Care Facilities across Ontario who are engagi… https://t.co/n1Je9Zhpjz
Apr 02
RT @chipadovani: Over the last 2 weeks at @nyhfb, I’ve been working with the incredible @torontolibrary staff and @Local4948 workers to mak…
Apr 02
RT @chipadovani: Library workers have always been frontline workers, and in the midst of #COVID19, they’re going over and beyond to ensure…
Mar 31
RT @fairwagesnow: Unsure if you qualify for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit? Worried about refusing unsafe work? We'll answer these…
Mar 29
RT @CUPEOntario: Suspension of rules protecting long-term care residents put people at risk says @CandaceRennick. https://t.co/hhG0u6BliJ
Mar 27
RT @progresstoronto: Neighbourhood pods are one tool people are using to connect and make sure everyone’s needs are met by grabbing food, m…
Mar 27
RT @progresstoronto: Progress Toronto is teaming up w @djnontario's @SarahJama_ & @amarapossian to provide a webinar on neighbourhood pods…
Mar 24
RT @torontolabour: Cleaners are some of the most important frontline workers during this #COVIDー19 crisis - but they also happen to be some…