Getting Louder

More than 50 people attended a rally Thursday night in support of Western Librarians and Archivists who are currently in negotiations with the university administration.

 

In keeping with their slogan to “Get Loud” the group began their march from concrete beach to Weldon Library where they sang labour songs accompanied by the Active Beats Collective. Led by Faculty member David Heap and the lovely tenor voice of Ari Vangeest of PSAC 610, the group made a quick stop outside where negotiations were ongoing, and then continued on to the Richmond gate to hear messages of support from Melissa Jean of the Brescia Faculty Association, Patti Dalton of the London and District Labour Council, James Compton of CAUT (with his dog Beau), and Glen Copplestone, President of King’s College Faculty. Steve Holmes former president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 741 announced to raucous applause that if there was a strike, LTC bus drivers would not cross the picket lines. Terence Kernaghan, London North Centre NDP MPP, Dirka Prout, federal NDP candidate in London North Centre and Darryl Bedford of OPSEU 110, representing faculty at Fanshawe College also attended to show their support.

John Ciriello, President of UWOFA, with strike-ready port-a-potties in the background,  urged the university to make an investment in people, “People who work very hard to make our University and its library system one of the best in Canada. People who commit to this university, these students, and to our community.” He ended with a call for solidarity with the CUPE and OPSEU education workers who are beginning a full strike on October 7 and with the Graduate Teaching Assistants and Post-doctoral Associate union PSAC 610 as they will be entering negotiations with the Western Administration soon. He finished his remarks with the promise that “You are here with us. We will be there with you.”

Talks continued late Thursday night with further negotiations scheduled for Monday, October 7, prior to the strike deadline scheduled for 12:01 on Tuesday.

The negotiating team went to the table with three priorities:

1.    Fair Workload so our librarians and archivists can maintain high quality service to the university community.

2.    Professional autonomy and collegial governance so that our librarians and archivists can have a meaningful voice in how the Western libraries system is run.

3.    Fair compensation and benefits in line with those negotiated with other employee groups on campus.

UWOFA has moved its offices to 611 Wonderland Road North, on the southeast corner of Oxford and Wonderland, in preparation for a labour disruption. There is ample free parking and our UWOFA Staff will be in the office during regular working hours.

Please stay tuned for an announcement from the UWOFA President on October 7 or October 8 about whether there will be a strike. We remain cautiously optimistic that we can reach an agreement without having to strike.