Citizens of Victoria, welcome back to the Dark Ages.
Spineless and cowardly local politicians have decided that actual negotiation is too much like work, so they’ve issued a lockout notice full of BS and misinformation instead to the library’s employee’s.
Victoria’s library employees have always been underpaid compared to their counterparts at City Hall – the fact that ~80% of my co-workers are female probably has, historically, something to do with that. Way back in 1992, an agreement was signed by both sides to correct that historical inequity. Library employees have kept their side of the bargain over the years – GVPL is one of Canada’s busiest & best libraries, and we’re proud of that.
It’s become increasingly obvious over the years that the employer had no real intention of holding up their end of the bargain, though. No money was put toward pay equity in the 1990s, and a pittance was dribbled our way between 2000 & 2006. Our last labour contract ran out in December 2006; negotiations have been stalled since then, primarily because in the happy little universe inhabited by management, suddenly we have Pay Equity.
Sure, if you massively re-define pay equity, engage in willful delusional thinking, and are willing to look like a total donkey in public.
So after not bothering to meet with the union’s negotiating committee since mid-October, the delusional spineless ones have decided to lock us out instead. Way to move the situation forward, folks!
If Victoria-area residents want more information, including how to get in touch with some of our lovely, spineless local politicians, please have a look at Overdue Promise for more information (free of my irritable ranting, I promise!), all sorts of contact information for local pols, and further news as this sorry situation unfolds.
And hey, drop by the picket line next week and say hi.
Being polite on the picket line is the only public service your local library workers are able to offer as of Monday, thanks to the grotesque lack of leadership among local politicans. And that’s a damn shame.
Just to ward off lawyers & pseudo-lawyers: I speak only for myself, not for my union and certainly not for my employer. Yes, I could have been more polite. No, I’m not going to be. Deal with it.
Oh, and the graphic? Made it just this evening in Inkscape; the quote is one that’s been going around on our union’s private bulletin board – nobody is sure where it’s from. It’s CC-BY, so feel free to borrow it if you like it!