There's little more exciting than a strike by civic employees. Here are people given the public trust and paid out of public funds, and then they go and strike because they feel the public isn't forking enough of their tax dollars over to support them. I still wonder whether a strike by public employees isn't a strike against the public interest, but that's neither here nor there.
It seems librarians up in the Great White North are striking because Vancouver won't agree to their union's demands. Those Vancouver librarians might want to be careful, though. It's not like they're essential city employees. If garbage collectors or police officers go on strike, people jump up and take notice, because these are essential services that everyone takes advantage of. We can't have our garbage piling up or our criminals running the city. But librarians?
The Globe and Mail had a story a couple of days ago about the strike, and if you want to get an idea of the conflicting views citizens have of librarians, check out the comments section.
Here's some samples:
"I fully support librarians and local libraries. Keep up the great work :-)"
Aww, that's sweet, especially the emoticon. Probably a librarian or the spouse of one.
"I think the entire collective bargaining process is broken in this country; at least as it relates to bargaining between gov't and public sector unions. It's strike after strike after idiotic strike. The end result is, everyone loses. There needs to be a more meaningful approach that's collaborative. As it stands now, we have both sides coming in asking for way more than they want simply as a negotiating tactic. It's futile to try and reach consensus this way.
Both sides look like whining brats in my view."
There might be some sense there, and at least it's not hostile to the librarians.
"To quote Oscar Wilde at the death of Little Nell 'One must have a heart of stone not to laugh out loud'.
Where do these people get it from? Having been a member of a Library Board for many years I know that they have salaries, vacations, health benefits, death benefits, pensions, work conditions, job security etc, etc far in excess of any comparable librarians, or anyone else for that matter, in private industry. But apparently that's not enough.
Leave them out on strike until they rot!"
Not much sympathy there.
"...if CUPE members are not satisfied with their existing pay, working conditions and benefits, they can always go do something else."
Something to keep in mind.
"I just hope they don't forget the formula to the Dewey Decimal System before they get back."
They wouldn't have to worry about this if they were Arizona librarians.
"It's not the librarians that are outdated.
It's UNION that's outdated.
Continuously having above average salaries, vacations, health benefits, death benefits, pensions, work conditions, job security etc, etc than non-unionized workers aren't enough...they think they should be paid like managers and executives."
Well, that's your opinion, buddy!
"Vancouver librarians walk off the job followed by dinosaurs."
Well, there you have it, views from the public librarians serve. One wonders what would happen to Vancouver if the librarians never went back to work.