File photo of Courtenay library.

File photo of Courtenay library.

Vancouver Island Regional Library board approves ratified contract

Four-year deal for Vancouver Island librarians contains 3% wage hikes

The BCGEU-represented librarians at Vancouver Island Regional Library have a new four-year contract.

On April 20, VIRL’s board of trustees unanimously voted to accept the ratified offer and put an end to the labour disruption that has impacted services at VIRL branches since March 8.

“As a board, we are thankful to both sides of the bargaining table for their commitment and dedication to reaching a fair and sustainable agreement,” says chair Gaby Wickstrom. “With the strike now behind us, it is time to look forward and begin the important work of ensuring our libraries are safe and healthy environments for our staff and the diverse community members who use our spaces every day.”

The agreement equates to a 12 per cent increase over four years and breaks down as follows:

Jan. 1, 2021: 3% (retroactive)

Jan. 1, 2022: 3% (retroactive) with a $500 signing bonus

Jan. 1, 2023: 3%

Jan. 1, 2024: 3%

In addition to its monetary provisions, the agreement also holds new language for greater bargaining unit/employer collaboration on issues of shared priority.

With an agreement in place, all VIRL librarians have returned to their branches and resumed the community-focused work they are so passionate about. This includes the full resumption of in-branch and virtual programs and services, reference questions, and other critically important services librarians provide every day.

Full details about upcoming programs and events are available on VIRL’s online event calendar: https://virl.bc.ca/calendar/

RELATED: BCGEU announces tentative agreement with Vancouver Island Regional Library

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