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Pickets at VIRL branches Wednesday if no offer made, says BCGEU librarians - BC General Employees' Union (BCGEU)

BURNABY, B.C. (COAST SALISH TERRITORIES) – Members of the BC General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) working as librarians for the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) will begin escalated job action starting Wednesday, March 9 should they not receive a serious offer from the employer.
On March 1, after the union had issued 72-hour strike notice, the employer made a new offer to librarians. However, that offer did not go far enough on wages given members' working conditions.
The union responded with a counteroffer and is awaiting a response.
“Unless the employer comes back with a serious offer, pickets will be up at VIRL branches starting Wednesday, March 9,” said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. “Librarians don’t want job action. They want respect from their employer. Yet all they’ve received is delays, unfair proposals and disrespectful treatment – and that’s just during bargaining.”
Shortly after submitting their counteroffer to the employer, librarians submitted a group letter to all trustees of the VIRL Board. The letter called on all 38 trustees to ensure that librarians’ next collective agreement provides them with fundamental supports – including a psychologically safe and respectful workplace, and wages that align with other libraries and lessen the impact of cost of living and inflation – and pressure the employer, who they oversee, to return to the table and mitigate picket lines and impacts on the community.
Librarians are also calling on the public to write similar letters to their local VIRL board trustee.
For more information, visit – where the latest updates will be posted for media and the public – or contact [email protected]
The BCGEU is B.C.'s most dynamic, diverse, and fastest growing union -- representing more than 82,000 members who work in every sector of the economy and live in every community across the province including the 48 librarians who work for the Vancouver Island Regional Library.
See previous media release