Striking Librarians Get Promise Of New Talks

The Essex County Library Board says it wants to get back to the bargaining table.

Several CUPE Local 2974 members and supporters attended a meeting of the board Wednesday night calling for talks to resume.

Board Chair, Richard Meloche, says at the moment CUPE's bargaining team is working on a deal for the county's inside/outside workers which is expected to wrap up before November 4.

He says focus will then shift back to the librarians.

"We all want the same thing. We all want the libraries open. Trust me. Their president, Ian Nash, and their CUPE rep, Suzanne Hawkins, they're both in negotiations right now. We're trying to give them an opportunity to finish what they need to finish, but immediately following that we're looking to try and get back to the table."

Meloche says the board is working on a proposal to bring to the table.

"We have some ideas and we're looking to try and see if there's some bending that can happen on both sides of the table."


Crédit photo: County library workers supporter, Wayne Currie, asks to speak at Essex County Library Board meeting October 26, 2016 (Photo by AM800's Zander Broeckel)

Due to a procedural bylaw striking employees weren't officially allowed to speak at the meeting, but Meloche did assure them negotiations will continue in the very near future.

Thursday marks the 125th day of the county library strike.