Toronto libraries reopen after 10-day strike

Toronto's public library workers will be back on the job Friday after approving a new four-year contract with the city.
Toronto's library workers had been on strike since March 19, but they will be back at work on Friday morning, the union's president says. (Patrick Morrell/CBC)

Toronto's public library workers are back on the job after voting to approve a new contract on Thursday.

CUPE Local 4948 president Maureen O'Reilly says the agreement reached between the union and the city is a victory for the union, which represents 2,300 library workers.

"We convinced the board to give up their attack on quality jobs," O'Reilly said.

The city's 98 library branches will reopen at 10:30 a.m. Friday.

Library workers went on strike March 19, after a breakdown in negotiations between their union and the city.

The union has said that job security was a major issue for librarians, half of whom hold part-time positions.

"No full-time positions will be converted to part-time and a modest number of full-time opportunities will even be created across the length of the agreement," O'Reilly said.

O'Reilly said other key components of the settlement are:

  • No concessions on benefits.
  • Benefits for part-timers will be customized to suit their unique position.
  • The city's desired cuts to employment security were pushed back to members with less than 11 years seniority

"This was not about money – this was about ensuring that the employer values the work we do," O'Reilly said in a news release.

The deal will now go to city council for final approval.