Mississauga libraries to close Monday as workers vote to strike

Public libraries across Mississauga will be closed Monday after the city says the union rejected its latest offer, hours before the July 4 strike deadline.

CUPE Local 1989 rejected city's latest offer, which included better wages and benefits, city says

Library employees working for the City of Mississauga are expected to be on strike as of 12:01 a.m. Monday. The city's 18 branches will be closed. (CBC)

A labour dispute between Mississauga and its library workers could close the city's 18 branches Monday after negotiations broke down before the midnight strike deadline.

The union that represents the library workers rejected the city's latest offer Saturday, with 96 per cent of those who attended the strike vote choosing that option instead, according to a release from CUPE Local 1989 Sunday night.

That offer included a 1.5 per cent wage increase, the union says — up from increases of 0.5 per cent in both 2014 and 2015.

But the Local noted those raises fell below the increased cost of living; last year, inflation was pegged at two per cent, according to Statistics Canada.

The union said it's striking for "a fair contract for all members," more than half of which work part time and have neither benefits, vacation nor sick time, according to the release.

No fines during strike

"We are very proud of the quality services we provide to the community," the release from the union local says. "We ask only to be treated with respect, and for all our members to be able to provide a decent life for themselves and their families."

The city, however, said that its employees rejected a "fair and competitive" offer. It's one that both sides have been trying to reach since negotiations began in June 2015. 

"The ... goal has always been to achieve a collective agreement that is fair and competitive to our employees and our taxpayers," the city said in its release.

While the physical branches will be closed during the strike, patrons can still check out ebooks, music and online magazines through the online library portal.

And, thankfully, you can't accrue any late fees during the dispute.