Essex County Library Workers Ratify New Contract

Essex County Library workers have voted 70%  in favour of a new tentative agreement.

It could be the final chapter in the 230-day long strike by members of CUPE local 2974 as the Essex County Library Board votes Friday on the deal which was reached early Thursday morning.

The vote by workers took place after a two hour meeting where members asked a lot of questions.

Details of the deal will not be released until after the employer votes.

CUPE Local 2974 Spokesperson Lori Wightman says she feels a little sad and relief.

"It is just a lot of emotional turmoil that we went through," says Wightman. "Physically it was hard, mentally it was hard and it is sad that I don't know neither side is going to get the outcome that they wanted completely."

"I think our members deserved more but it is the best deal that we could get."

She says there was never going to be a big win in this labour dispute when a strike drags on for more than seven months.

The 58 workers have been on strike since June 25th. 

The key issue was third party coverage for short-term disability and Wightman would not say what compromise was reached on that issue.

If the board ratifies the deal, it may take up to a week to re-open all 14 Essex County library branches.