Category Archives: Unions

Library Workers Vote to Unionize

Nyack (NY) Library workers voted July 24 to form a union affiliated with the New York State United Teachers. According to a recent article, the secret ballot election was overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. Library workers had hoped to forego the special election altogether. The 33-7 vote came the week after management had refused to recognize the Nyack Library Staff Association, organized in June.Read the rest

DPE at ALA Annual Conference

The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) traveled to Chicago several weeks ago to participate in the American Library Association’s (ALA) Annual Conference. DPE’s presence added a union voice to the gathering of nearly 20,000 library professionals. DPE’s Legislative and Outreach Director Michael Wasser co-chairs the AFL-CIO/ALA Labor Committee which sponsored a standing room only program entitled, New Normal: Libraries Navigate Uncertain Times during the ALA Annual Conference.… Read the rest

University of Chicago Student Library Employees File Petition to Unionize

A coalition of University of Chicago student library workers filed a petition earlier this week to become one of the nation’s first primarily undergraduate student unions at a private university. According to this article, the group of student employees who are calling themselves the Student Library Employees Union, worked with Teamsters Local 743, a local labor union, to file the petition with the National Labor Relations Board.Read the rest

Contract Dispute May Be Ending

The Camden County (NJ)  Library System librarians and library assistants are seeking a new contract and higher wages.  A recent article reported that both groups have been working under a contract that expired in December 2015. Librarians’ assistants in the county, who are represented by Communications Workers of America Local 1014, reportedly earn the lowest starting salaries in the state. The librarians, almost all of whom are women, are represented by AFSCME Local 1454. One of their union Read the rest

East Side Freedom Library Wins John Session Memorial Award

The East Side Freedom Library has been selected as the 2017 winner of the John Sessions Memorial Award. The award, presented annually by the Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association and sponsored by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, recognizes a library or library system which has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and by doing so has brought recognition to the history and contributions of the labor movement Read the rest

New Resource for Professionals Thinking about Joining a Union

The Department for Professional Employees (DPE) launched “Join A Union” a new page which is designed to answer professionals’ questions about union representation. The page provides information on why professionals join unions, the advantages of joining together in union, and the first steps in forming a union at work.Read the rest

Supreme Court Reviewing Mandatory Union Fees

The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a case where ten public school teachers are suing their union. They say that they are being forced to pay to support positions with which they disagree, in violation of the First Amendment. This article suggests that there is a possibility that the teachers could win their case.  The comment is based on the fact that the Supreme Court previously suggested that the First Amendment bars forcing government workers to make payments … Read the rest

August 2015 Highlights

According to the Union Library Workers Blog, unionization and new contracts were top news for libraries last month (August 2015).  Here are the highlights:

  • Workers at Mineola Memorial Library (NY) have a new six-year collective agreement, retroactive to June 2012. The agreement includes increases in wages, longevity bonuses, and employer contributions to dental and optical insurance. The library workers are represented by the Library Employees Unit of the United Public Service Employees Union.
  • Workers at Belleville Public Library (Ontario)
Read the rest

Unions Rethink Strategy After Election Losses

Unions suffered losses at all levels of government following the recent elections.  The author of this Governing.com article suggests that unions will have less impact now in states where issues such as pension cuts and charter schools and voucher expansions are expected to be a prominent part of the debate. Labor’s declining membership — along with open attacks on collective bargaining and other labor rights launched by some politicians — makes it difficult for unions to maintain their traditional clout.  … Read the rest

Gallup: Americans Approve of Labor Unions, Right to Work Laws

Results of a recent Gallup survey suggest that a slim majority of Americans, 53 percent, approve of labor unions. Although more Americans approve than disapprove of unions, they also widely support right-to-work laws.… Read the rest