Windsor

Library strike continues after talks break off once again

Library employees have been on strike for about six weeks, but have been working with a mediator to get a deal done.
Striking library workers rally outside the Essex County Library brach in Tecumseh on July 14, 2016. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

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.