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Mississauga workers’ strike shuts down 18 public libraries

Striking Mississauga library workers say the city has one standard for dealing with labour costs in the unionized sector and another for management.

“How do they justify giving (library) director Rose Vespa a 7.3 per cent salary increase the same year we got .5 per cent,” asked librarian and CUPE Local 1989 president Laura Kaminker, after a strike Monday shut down all 18 public libraries in Mississauga.

Contract negotiations between the city and the union representing about 390 members who work in the libraries broke down over the weekend, with no immediate plans to resume talks.

Late fees won’t be applied while the shutdown continues, and online services are not impacted by the strike.

Kaminker said the union rejected a 1.5 per cent increase after members received .5 per cent increases in 2014 and 2015; while library managers received increases between 2.7 and 4.3 per cent each year.

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