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May 15, 2012

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Limited strike action to continue in Okanagan Libraries

KELOWNA— Limited job action will continue in 16 library branches throughout the Okanagan. Library workers will continue to not collect fines or work any overtime.

“We want to continue to keep libraries running with as few interruptions as possible,” says CUPE 1123 president Rose Jurkic. “We remain extremely committed to our patrons and we value the support that we have been receiving from communities where our members work.”

Okanagan library workers have been without a contract since December 31, 2010. They are seeking improvements to their extended health benefits, some of which have seen no improvements in over 20 years.

The Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) board will meet tomorrow, Wednesday, May 16, and CUPE 1123 hopes that the board will do the responsible thing and come back with a fair offer.

“Our position is financially responsible and is within the ORL’s budget,” notes Jurkic. “Our members feel undervalued and disrespected by management, a fair offer would send a message of respect to members.”

Jurkic adds that while management insists that front-line library workers must choose between modest wage increases and benefit improvements, they already receive 100 percent coverage of extended health benefits.

CUPE 1123 will consider further job action following Wednesday’s ORL board meeting.

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