FERNIE—Fernie’s Heritage Library Board’s application for mediation denies the six women who provide public services the right to collectively bargain, says CUPE National Representative Keith Nielson.
“The Board has brought in a consultant from the Coast,” says Nielson. “And in a Grinch-like move, have tried to stop bargaining and deny Fernie’s library workers a say in their collective agreement.”
Bargaining dates had been set for yesterday and today, and members of CUPE 2093 were surprised that the Board refused to even sit down and respond to their proposals.
“This basic right is being taken away from Library workers who are among the lowest paid in the province,” notes CUPE 2093 president Doug Temple. “These members live here, enjoy the work they do for Fernie residents, and care deeply about their community and the Library. Instead of the spirit of our local mascot, the Grizz, the Board is extending the spirit of the Grinch.”
CUPE 2093 represents a sub-local of six workers at Fernie’s Heritage Library as well as 32 municipal workers in the City of Fernie. Library workers joined CUPE in March 2008 and negotiated their first collective agreement in January 2009.