February 17, 2018

Cleveland PL Workers Strike for One Day

By LJ Staff

Union employees at the Cleveland Public Library staged a one-day strike on April 20, National Library Workers Day. The action forced the system to close 19 branches and limit services at the Main Library and nine other branches. A contract involving librarians, clerks, and custodians expired 15 months ago and talks between the union and the library broke down over the preceding weekend. A federal mediator was involved in the negotiations.

Library workers are seeking a three-year contract with raises between four and four and one-half percent annually. Management is offering two percent, and also wants to outsource some duties and cut benefits for health care, seniority, transfers, and sick leave. It says the outsourcing won’t involve any loss of positions. In contrast, neighboring Cuyahoga County Public Library speedily concluded a contract negotiation this month. Raises equal between two and three percent a year, and increases in medical payments are included.