it's crunch time at the bargaining table

Now here's an interesting calendar of events.

June 27-29: The Negotiating Committee for CUPE Local 1989, Mississauga Library Workers Union, returns to the bargaining table for three days.

June 30: The Negotiating Committee presents membership with a settlement offer. If the bargaining team recommends ratification, there is a ratification vote. If we do not recommend ratification, there is a strike vote.

July 2: Summer programming begins at all our libraries. Free programs for children and youth attract a huge number of customers.

July 4: The City of Mississauga and CUPE Local 1989 are in a legal or lockout position.

July 7-8: The director of our library system hosts an annual conference of the Ontario Library Association.

We played a long game of cat-and-mouse to make this timeline happen. It took a lot of resolve and a fair bit of luck. Now that we're here, perhaps our employer will be very motivated to avoid a strike.

* * * *

Brampton is a neighbouring city. Mississauga, Brampton, and one other city comprise the Region of Peel. Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie has been making public statements about pulling Mississauga out of Peel.

From 1974 when towns and villages were amalgamated to form Mississauga, until 2014 when Crombie was elected, Mississauga had only one mayor. That is, Crombie is only the second mayor to hold office in this city.

Crombie has convened a Mayor's Advisory Board on Poverty and Homelessness, part of the Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy. Although there is ample reason for skepticism, this is potentially a big improvement over the former mayor's inaction. It took Hazel McCallion until 2010 to even acknowledge there was poverty in Peel.

Then there's the Fight for 15, the growing public discourse on precarious work and presenteeism, and the fact that more than half of Mississauga Library staff are precarious workers.

There are the (mostly male) Mississauga transit workers, who recently ratified a new contract, and kept their premium pay for Sunday work. The (mostly female) library workers are fighting to keep theirs, too.

And finally, there's this fact: there has never been a strike against the City of Mississauga.

* * * *

Last night, watching Endeavour, I heard this line: Sometimes you've got to put all you are, against all they've got.

I've been repeating this to myself, thinking about all I am, all our team is, and all our members are.

No comments: