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Short negotiations lead to solid future for library

March 2011 book sale at the library; Photo, submitted

CUPE library workers and the Grand Forks and District Public Library ratified a new three-year collective agreement after only one day of negotiations in May.

CUPE 2254 shop steward Renee Milaney called the talks, “respectful and responsive,” adding that “the library board set a cooperative tone during these negotiations that made the process fast, professional and productive.”

The seven members of CUPE Local 2254 at the library signed a new agreement with wage increases of 2.5 percent in each of the three years ending June 30, 2014. The agreement includes improvements to vision care, dental plan, temporary backfill rates and vacation times.

After a strike upset the entire community during the last round of negotiations, This positive settlement is welcome news to residents. Library Director Heather Buzzell, who started work shortly after the last settlement, said, “the negotiations demonstrate how well we have come together to work as a team.”

CUPE 2254 bargaining spokesperson Lee-Anne Halifax added that she is, “especially proud of the great bullying and harassment language now included in the collective agreement that came out of a union initiative following the last round of bargaining.”

The board and the union have also clarified how their joint labour/management committee will work to deal with issues during the length of the agreement according to Halifax.