Category Archives: Unions

AFL-CIO Elects New, Diverse Leadership Team

The AFL-CIO elected Liz Shuler as President of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. The first woman to serve in this capacity, Shuler will function as part of the most diverse leadership team in AFL-CIO’s history. In a press release from AFL-CIO, Shuler says, “This is a moment for us to lead societal transformations—to leverage our power to bring women and people of color from the margins to the center—at work, in our unions and our economy, … Read the rest

Fears of Budget Cuts Drive Niles-Maine (IL) District Library Employees to Unionize

According to this article, board officers of the Niles-Maine (Illinois) District Library proposed significant cuts to library programs and services last month. The budget cuts have many library employees fearing for their jobs. As a result, library employees petitioned the Illinois Labor Relations Board to form a union. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 will represent a bargaining unit of 88 library employees. Many elected and appointed officials and community leaders Read the rest

Worthington (OH) Libraries board won’t recognize union efforts

According to this article, the Worthington (Ohio) Libraries Board of Trustees voted last month to reject voluntary recognition of a union requested by library staff. As a result, the nearly-180 employees will decide by vote at a future date whether they will have a union. The heart of the matter is allowing library workers a voice, a platform to be heard and a more equitable workplace.Read the rest

Report: Sticking with the Union After Janus

An article that focuses on how the public sector union landscape has shifted with the Supreme Court Janus vs. AFSCME ruling is now available in full text.  

Kathleen de la Peña McCook. “Sticking with the Union After Janus.” Union Library Workers 2017-2018 Report by Elaine Harger and Kathleen de la Peña McCook” Progressive Librarian Vol. 47 Iss. 162 (2020) p. 139 ISSN: 1052-5736. Available at:

Related Items from Previous Articles in Library Worklife

  • From July 2018 issue of Library
Read the rest

Cleveland Public Library Workers Give Union OK to Strike

In a nearly unanimous vote on January 8th, Cleveland Public Library workers voted to give the authorization to strike if its bargaining committee can’t reach an agreement with library officials on a new employment contract.

Nearly 400 Cleveland library workers have been without an employment contract since talks between its union — the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1199 — and the library administration failed to produce a new agreement before the January 1st deadline.

Significant points of Read the rest

Librarians Among University Staff on Strike Across UK

Over 40,000 librarians, lecturers, technicians and other staff went on strike, picketing 60 universities across the United Kingdom as of Monday, November 25, 2019, according to The Guardian. The strike was due to continue for eight days with the possibility of a second strike in the new year if demands are not met.

What’s the reason for the strike? The University and College Union (UCU) members and supporters complain that administrative salaries and benefits are exorbitant, while salaries of Read the rest

New Rule Proposed to Prevent Graduate Student Unions at Private Colleges

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed a new rule that would take away the right to unionize from graduate teaching and research assistants at private colleges. 

The proposed rule, which was published last month, determines that students who are working for their institutions in “connection with their studies,” such as teaching and research, are not employees. 

If implemented, the regulations would reverse a 2016 ruling that gave graduate assistants at private universities collective bargaining rights. However, private colleges will Read the rest

Public Support for Unions Continues to Surge

According to a recent press release from AFSCME, a new Gallup poll released last month reveals public support for labor unions reaching 64%—a near 50-year high. It is believed that the positive surge in approval demonstrates how effective unions have been in educating working people about the value and benefits of strong unions to their families and communities. The conversation related to unions will undoubtedly be a topic of discussion leading up to the 2020 elections.Read the rest

Negotiations Over Library Wages Stall in Washington

Fort Vancouver Regional Library (FVRL) in Vancouver, Washington and the Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA) bargaining unit that represents 163 FVRL non-management staff members are at an impasse in their wage negotiations, which began 15 months ago. According to this article, negotiations stalled after the WPEA filed a grievance in February against FVRL for failing to honor contract language. The WPEA also plans to file unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, which will conduct Read the rest

Cuyahoga Falls Library, Workers at Odds Over New Union Contract

Last month (July 2019) union library workers gathered outside of the Cuyahoga Falls Library (Ohio) to picket for a three percent wage increase and protection of full-time positions. According to this article, the union (Professionals Guild of Ohio Council 3) distributed fliers that said:”$15 per hour is being nationally considered for minimum wage, the requested raises would keep many of our employees at less than $11.50 through 2020.” It was reported to have been a total of 10 bargaining Read the rest