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Saskatoon Public Library workers staged a read-in at City Council meeting. Read more at #yxe 3 days ago

After 3 years, Saskatoon library workers still without contract 2 weeks ago


Civic Election (1)

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Library matters (59)

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CUPE 2669 Read-In April 8, 2013

Members of CUPE 2669 held a read-in at the City of Saskatoon Council meeting on Monday April 8, 2013.

For more information, see the story on the CUPE National website.

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One Thousand and Ninety-six Days

One thousand and ninety-six days have passed since Saskatoon Public Library workers have had a contract. The best offer to its’ workers that the Saskatoon Public Library Board has been able to come up with is one that would leave the wages of CUPE 2669 members 7% to 19% below those of library workers who have the same qualifications and similar jobs at Regina Public Library, the University of Saskatchewan Libraries and the Saskatoon Public School Division.

These aren’t manipulated or inflated statistics, the contracts and wage scales of these other library workers who are also CUPE members, are public record and available on the Internet. Similarly,  the wage increases averaging 49% since 2008, that Saskatoon Public Library managers and administrative staff have received are also in the public record, available to anyone who looks at the Public Accounts of the City of Saskatoon.

After all it’s the City of Saskatoon who pays these wages, the same city celebrating a $5 million budget surplus. Saskatoon Public Library workers having been trying to get their message out since Sept. 2012, that an offer that requires them to sign off on pay equity for wages that leave them so far behind is unfair, irresponsible and ultimately unacceptable.

It’s a pretty shameful anniversary to be marking this March 31. Contact the Library Board and your City Councillor and ask them to live up to their responsibilities and offer fair wages to their employees at the Saskatoon Public Library.

Click here to see what you can do to help.

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Posted on April 1, 2013

We Need to Talk

This ad is going into the current issue of Planet S

Here is a .pdf copy: We need to talk ad

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Posted on March 22, 2013

Spring is Guaranteed to Arrive… Eventually

Posted on March 21, 2013

No such guarantees on a FAIR DEAL.

Have a listen to our new radio ad.

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Mr. Postman, will the Library Board see my letter?

Letters continue to be sent to Saskatoon City Council supporting public library workers’ efforts to reach a fair contract.

One letter on the March 4 Council agenda said:

I wish to urge City Council to act immediately to resolve the labour dispute between Saskatoon Public library and the large majority of its woefully underpaid workers. The Library Board needs to be told in no uncertain terms that its ongoing inaction is damaging to the reputation of the City, to the morale and material well-being of staff, and at variance with the diverse and invaluable services library workers provide to Saskatonians. Read more here:

So what is happening to these letters?

Council is receiving them as information and referring them to the Library Board for further action.

However, at the February 20 Library Board meeting, eight letters forwarded from the February 11 Council were not received as correspondence.

We’re asking ‘why not?’ And what will happen to letters from the March 4 and 18 Council meetings?

And that’s not all: There are letters sent directly to the Library Board plus a couple thousand postcards signed by supporters. We don’t know the exact number; these also have not been received as correspondence and don’t show up in Library Board minutes.

Not only that, it appears Board members aren’t actually seeing the piles of postcards. We’re told they get updates about the numbers received. What’s with that? The cards are addressed to the Library Board. When people sign them, they do so to show support and believe they’re getting to Board members.

Citizens of Saskatoon who take the time to write should at the very least know that their letters are being received, read, and noted by the Board. As public bodies, Library boards must be transparent and accountable to the public they serve.

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Posted on March 18, 2013

Continued patron support evident at mini-rally

“I’m really upset about all this” is what one patron told Saskatoon library workers holding a mini-rally in front of Frances Morrison Library this week. “Aren’t they ashamed?”

He was referring to the lack of a contract for three years and the Library Board’s refusal to come back to the bargaining table after presenting a so-called final offer in November; an offer that would still leave workers well behind comparable jobs elsewhere.

“I know how important you are,” another patron said. “I’ve cut back on cable, which is too expensive, and now read two books a week. I come to the library all the time.”

Similar words of support were heard during the one-hour event, as well as the recurring question “What can we do to help?”

We say continue to sign the postcards urging the Board to get back to the table with a fair offer. Continue to write to City Council and write to the newspaper. Check out our blog to email the Board and for more information.

Our patrons value the service and workers at Saskatoon Public Library? Why doesn’t the Board?

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Posted on March 15, 2013

Event celebrates Happy 100th for library workers

It was party time last night at The Bassment, filled with music by Pearson and The Lost Keys, puppetry spoofing Fifty Shades of Grey, and compelling storytelling by Judith Benninger.

There was also cake.

Library workers, family and friends and the public joined in the party. The event marked the 100th anniversary of Saskatoon Public Library and the service of its workers throughout the past century.

A 50/50 draw to support the Saskatoon Food Bank was won by Karen Brander. She generously gave back her $130 prize to the Food Bank, for a total donation of $260.

Happy 100th to the women and men who have made and continue to make SPL work!

And what do we want as our centennial present? A fair contract offer that recognizes the value of our workers

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Posted on March 11, 2013

6 Tips for Surviving with Reduced Pay

While we are fighting for better better pay it I figured it would be a good idea to give a few tips to help survive.


Those involved with the government snap program should take advantage of the double down program. Right now you can double your snap money if you spend it on local fruits and vegetables.

You can still eat healthy cheaply. Pound for pound here are my favorite healthy cheap foods

Rice - You can buy about 20 pounds of white rice for around $15. My bag of rice lasts me about 2 - 3 months.

Eggs - Eggs are cheap. You can usually purchase two dozen for 2 to 4 dollars. They can be cooked with just about any meal.

Chicken - This is tricky depending on where you purchase it from. I have found it for about $2 per pound at local Walmarts. Chicken breast is easy to deal with.

Tuna - Some people love it, others hate it, but it is loaded with protein. At 75 cents a can it is one of the cheapest meats you can purchase

Spaghetti noodles - You can pick up a large amount of pasta for 1 - 2 dollars a box and it will last you a few meals.

These are not your only options. Make sure to look for cost per pound or cost per ounce. Try to find foods with the least amount of sodium and sugar.


Get rid of it. Keep the internet if you are able to afford it. Netflix only cost $8 a month and has plenty of entertainment. If you cannot afford that most likely you have a friend who is already paying for it and can share their account.


As long as you are out of contract you should be able to drop you current provider and switch to a subsidized carrier. I dropped AT&T and switched to straight talk and went from paying $90 a month to $45 for the exact same service. There are other examples such as metro PCS or Cricket.


If you are renting and unable to afford the payments you may have to downgrade. If you DO have a mortgage the situation may be a bit more tricky. Do your best to make the minimum required payment. If you are unable to do this you may want to contact a foreclosure defense attorney. They usually can walk you through a loan modification. If for some reason your home does slip into foreclosure they will defend your home from the bank while it is at court for a small monthly fee. More information about the process can be found at


Turn off your air conditioning when you are not home or turn it up to 80 degrees. Your air conditioning uses the largest amount of electricity in your home. I was able to reduce my own electric bill from $180 to $80 just by doing this alone.  If you can afford it, replace all your incandescent light bulbs with LED bulbs. They have come down in price recently. You can pick one up for $8 to $15 per bulb and they last up to 20 years.


Netflix could go here as well. Do research on what is free and local to your town. Find yourself a hobby or get into some sort of fitness activity. Running is one of the cheapest activities to get into. Hiking is free. Treat yourself to a movie every once in a while.

Times are tough until we get this issue fixed. Hopefully some of you find this useful.