Union Library Workers Community
Despite inspiring and massive rallies and protest campaigns, the two most visible attacks on America’s working class – the anti-union bills in Wisconsin and Ohio – have both been signed into law. While the attack on public sector unions is, in itself, just the latest salvo in an ongoing class war, its effects will go far beyond the workers directly involved. These bills will lead to restructuring of a variety of public services, from education and home health care to government offices and police stations. Read more at Working Class Perspectives.
On Saturday, April 2, CUPE BC joined with other BC unions and the AFL-CIO to stage a rally in support of Wisconsin labour unions.
Read all about it here.
"Collective Effort: The American Union and the American Public Library"
Joyce M. Latham and Wyatt E. Ditzler
Library Trends 59, no. 1/2 (Summer/Fall 2010): 237-55.
Unions are a significant element in the library work place, yet there is little discussion of their significance or impact. This article investigates the structures of the unions within the public library in the United States, highlighting the complexity of composition, variance of relationships to library administration, and the simplicity of mission of the union leadership. Results of a brief survey enabled researchers to engage four union officers on areas of significance to them. While concerns over salaries and funding continuity generate concern, discussion also engaged on the perceived value of the professional librarian within public libraries.
“It’s a race against time,” said Tom Auxter, a professor of philosophy at the University of Florida and president of United Faculty of Florida, which represents faculty members [and librarians] at 22 public campuses and is affiliated with the Florida Education Association, the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the AFL-CIO. If passed, the three bills would go into effect July 1.
“We’re firing up all the engines to get people signed up,” he said. “The lesson for unions is organize or die.”
More at Inside Higher Education.
Through their Business and Career Programs, the Russell Library provides 10 to 12 workshops annually that aim to help individuals find jobs or change their careers. Programs include job searching, interview coaching, computer classes and stress reduction during job searching, among other topics. With this programming, the library has done significant outreach to union and community members by providing services of special interest to the labor community, as well as connecting with local organizations to publicize their services to job seekers.
The award committee selected the library as this year’s recipient for these notable efforts that are vital in today’s economic climate and for the value the programs hold for the local labor community.
The University of Hawaii's Board of Regents last week granted a university librarian a promotion with back pay after an arbitrator found administrators discriminated against for her involvement with the union, a union spokesman said today.
Vickery Lebbin, a librarian at Hamilton Library, claimed that administrator Paula Mochida voted against her promotion in 2008 and wrote a letter that included "criticism of my activities on behalf of the union," according to arbitration documents.
Arbitrator Victoria Marks, a retired Circuit Court judge, determined Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw relied on "improper" letters by Mochida and others in stopping Lebbin's application from reaching the UH Board of Regents.
"As a result, the negative comments about Lebbin are grounded in anti-union sentiment. Thus, union activity was a motivating factor in denying Lebbin's promotion," Marks wrote.
Marks said Lebbin was the only person out of 114 applicants who did not receive a promotion in 2008.
The document said a Tenure and Promotion Review Committee voted 8-to-0 in favor of Lebbin's promotion, but Hinshaw denied it. In another case, the document said, the committee voted 2-1 for an applicant with 5 abstaining, but Hinshaw approved the promotion.
Marks ordered the recommendation letters by Mochida and Hinshaw be removed from Lebbin's dossier, and the dossier be forwarded to the UH Board of Regents for consideration.
A spokesman for the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly said the Board of Regents gave Lebbin her promotion last week.
"What the Triangle Shirtwaist fire means for workers now"
Please read this recent Washington Post article by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis
March 18, 2011
By Hilda L. Solis, iday, March 18, 8:35 pm
..."In less than 20 minutes, 146 people, mostly Italian and Jewish immigrant women and girls, were dead. The last six victims were officially identified just a few weeks ago. Triangle outraged the public and offered a grisly example of how powerless workers were without collective bargaining, because unionized garment workers received better pay and had safer conditions. And it galvanized Frances Perkins."
"Twenty-two years later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed her secretary of labor, the first woman to serve as a Cabinet secretary. During her 12-year tenure, she directed the formulation and implementation of the Social Security Act, one of the most important pieces of social legislation in our history. Among other extraordinary accomplishments, she helped create unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, and the legislation that guarantees the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively. She also established the department’s Labor Standards Bureau, a precursor to what is now the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Perkins clearly had the Triangle victims in mind as she weaved the nation’s social safety net."... Please read this article from the Washington Post by Hilda L. Solis, US Secretary of Labor
..."History is an extraordinary thing. You can choose to learn from it, or you can choose to repeat it."
"For me, the choice is clear, as it was for Frances Perkins. We must always be a nation that catches workers before they fall." ...
Excerpts from the article by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis /--Karen Weaver
California Hands Out Scores of Pink Slips to School Librarians
"Hundreds of school librarians and thousands of classroom teachers [received] pink slips." says Jackie Siminitus, vice president of the California School Library Association (CSLA), who adds that a lot of districts were already cut to the bone. Although the past two decades have seen deep drops in the state's library materials budgets, Siminitus says cuts to personnel have been especially severe over the last two years. "A lot of our teacher-librarian members are disheartened," she says, explaining why CSLA membership has declined, and it's been hard to get the precise number of layoff notices.
read more by Debra Lau Whelan March 15, 2011
In a show of support to the librarians' march (3.12. 2011), as well as in tribute to the Wisconsin labor rights struggle in general, American Library Association past president Michael Gorman drafted new lyrics for "I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night," entitled "Scott Walker's Nightmare."
From Eau Claire down to Fond du Lac
In every working hall
Where unionists defend their rights
It's there you'll find us all,
See Sharon McQueen, "Wisconsin Librarians' March Merges with Tractorcade" in Library Journal.