The five workers at the Invermere Public Library have officially joined the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and the move won’t only benefit the workers but the volunteer board of directors as well.
“(The directors) all come with their strengths and with their backgrounds… they all have good intentions, but sometimes maybe their strength isn’t necessarily in personnel management,” said Invermere librarian Nicole Pawlak. “Personnel is a hard thing to manage, especially if that’s not what your background is, so we see it as a way to take that pressure off.”
Pawlak said that the five employees of the Invermere Library have been considering the move for over six months and that it was a relatively simple choice to go with CUPE as it already represents personnel at more than 20 libraries across British Columbia.
“CUPE is a large union and by becoming part of CUPE we will now have access to a wide array of information, education tools and resources,” Pawlak said in a release. “We are confident that CUPE will be able to help us negotiate a fair collective agreement which both reflects the needs of the
staff and keeps the best of interest of the library and its patrons in mind.”
Library staff and the volunteer board of directors will now spend the next couple of months working on their first collective agreement.
“From our perspective, by unionizing and having a collective agreement, it will add consistency to our work environment,” Pawlak said. “We’re hoping to do the best for the library and to be able to serve our library patrons the best that we can, and this we see as a really positive move.”
CUPE represents over 618,000 members across B.C. and Canada.