Cleveland Public Library Issues Statement on Possible Strike

Cleveland - Things getting a bit hairy concerning The Cleveland Public Library and the Service Employees International Union.

The SEIU District 1199 had their strike vote approved Wednesday, meaning one may be imminent by the libraries near 400 workers.

The Library has issued this statement on the possible strike:

"Cleveland Public Library is awarethat today’s (Wednesday) strike vote by SEIU District 1199was approved by its members.

As of tonight, we have not received an official notice to strike. Unfortunately, SEIU’s decision to strike would directly impact our community. If we do receive notice from SEIU that they will strike, the Library will have to temporarily close some branches and suspend some programs. The Library will ensure there are branches open in strategic areasof the citywith library-rich programs and services. The Library will share updates regarding a potential strike and its impact via its website, its social media platforms and the news. 

Despite this action by SEIU, the Library remains committed to negotiating in good faith at the bargaining table for a strong and sustainable future.We urge SEIU to join us at the bargaining table to work together to avoid disruption of library-rich programs and services for our community."

Such changes would hit school kids hard, cutting off some from after-school options that include internet access and a meal program supported by the Cleveland Food Bank.

The workers have been on the job since January 1st without a contract and want better wages and more staffing, among other issues.

The library has been adding some additional security guards, which are represented by Local 860. They are still negotiating with the library and are not voting on a possible strike.

The librarians and janitors want a commitment from officials that guards will be in every building at all times.

Library workers last went on strike last in 2004. The strike lasted one day.

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