Category Archives: Unions

After Board Reversal, Workers Secure First-Ever Library Contract in Missouri

Reversing itself in the face of a public outcry and pushback from workers, the board of the Daniel Boone Regional Library system (Missouri) has voted to approve a collective bargaining agreement negotiated between the workers’ union and management. The vote, which took place late last month, means the ratification of the first-ever contract for library workers in Missouri.

The three-year agreement that finally won the board’s approval comes more than a year after the library workers voted overwhelmingly to unionize … Read the rest

Increased Union Activity Last Year

Unions continued to dominate headlines in 2023. According to Cornell University’s Labor Action Tracker workers staged over 1,000 actions (including strikes and/or protests) during 2023. What drove the increased activity? According to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, many labor agreements were up for renewal in 2023, which is part of the equation. The article further explains, that “Workers felt empowered by other highly visible and successful strikes (or threats to strike) and a tight labor market… Read the rest

Newberry Library Employees Win First Contract a Year After Forming a Union

More than 60 employees of the Newberry Library, who formed their union, Newberry Workers United/AFSCME, one year ago, have overwhelmingly voted to ratify their first union contract. The four-year agreement includes a 15% increase in pay and a ratification bonus while freezing employee costs for health care. It also doubles parental leave, and it provides bilingual pay and funding for continuing education. Under their new contract, employees are eligible for reimbursement of up to $1,000 in education costs for anyone Read the rest

Biden Becomes First President to Walk a Strike Picket Line

President Joe Biden made history when he walked the picket line with members of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) at General Motors’ Willow Run parts center near Detroit, Michigan last month. He is the first sitting U.S. president to join a labor union on strike. The United Auto Workers are striking against the big three auto companies — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler maker Stellantis. According to this report, President Biden Read the rest

Pickerington Public Library Workers Vote to Unionize

Staff at the Pickerington (Ohio) Public Library are organizing to form a union under the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT), a member organization within the AFL-CIO. The OFT represents nearly 20,000 active and retired public school teachers, charter school teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty and staff, library workers and social work professionals in Ohio.

On August 10, the Pickerington Public Library staff formally asked the library board of trustees to voluntarily recognize their union. By August Read the rest

St. Charles Public Library Workers Celebrate Recent Contract Win

Last month (September 2023), members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union at the St. Charles Public Library in Illinois celebrated their first contract. It was ratified unanimously. 

Over the life of the four-year contract, they won: 

  • 17% wage increases across-the-board, with additional wage adjustments for six titles, 
  • A ratification bonus equal to 1% of their annual wages,
  • 4 weeks of paid vacation, plus 2 personal holidays that can be used at any time along
Read the rest

Waukegan Public Library Workers Win Stronger Rights in First Contract

Working under a new library administration in early 2020, staff at the Waukegan Public Library (WPL) in Chicago’s northern suburbs had cause for alarm. Among other things, the number of staff shrank from 70 to just 35 in the span of a year. Believing they had lost their voice under the new administration, WPL workers began organizing. Their union was officially certified with AFSCME Council 31 in December 2021. They began bargaining for their first contract in spring 2022. The Read the rest

Workers at the Art Institute and Its School Ratify Union Contract

More than 500 employees of the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) have ratified their first union contract. AIC and SAIC employees formed their union, Art Institute of Chicago Workers United (AICWU)/AFSCME, in January 2022. Contract negotiations began in May 2022 and resulted in a tentative agreement at the end of July this year. In mid-August, union members attended ratification meetings to review the terms of the agreement and vote on … Read the rest

Sno-Isle Libraries Employees Form a Union

The non-supervisory employees of Sno-Isle Libraries informed library management that they have organized a union. Sno-Isle Libraries, a public library system serving Island and Snohomish counties is among the largest in Washington state . The employees’ group, Sno-Isle Libraries (SIL) Employees United, is affiliated with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 2 and has filed for union recognition with the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission.

According to the website, SIL Employees United “believe unionization Read the rest

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Unions Liable for Damages During Labor Strikes

A recent decision in Glacier Northwest Inc. v Teamsters from the U.S. Supreme Court found that an employer could sue its employees’ union under state law for damage the employer incurred as a result of the union’s strike. An 8-1 majority ruled that while federal labor law preempts most lawsuits related to labor disputes, it does not preempt such a claim where it is alleged that unions failed to take reasonable precautions to safeguard employers’ property during strikes. This articleRead the rest