Library strike continues after talks break off once again
Essex County's library strike continues after mediated contract talks broke off Monday afternoon.
Library employees have been on strike for about six weeks. Both sides have been working with a mediator to get a deal done.
Union members have said all along a proposal to cut the number of sick days remains the key stumbling block at the table.
"We returned to the bargaining table with a new sick time proposal so we could start a dialogue to end this strike," said Lori Wightman, unit chair for CUPE 2974. "Instead management showed no movement and stuck to their original sick-time position from June 22."
In a news release from the County of Essex communications office, library board chairman Richard Meloche said he is disappointed negotiations once again fell apart.
"We are ultimately trying to provide a contract that is fair and reasonable to employees, while being prudent with public funds and taking steps to implement a more contemporary sick leave program," he said.
The board's latest offer, according to the statement, includes wage increases and a signing bonus, as well as a proposed sick plan with 8.5 sick days a year that includes a cash-out option at the end of the year.