Vickery Bowles, Toronto’s chief librarian, said in a news release that bookmobile and home library services would also be halted, as well as phone services, book drops and use of library meeting spaces.
“We continue to bargain and are committed to reaching a negotiated settlement,” Bowles said.
“We value our staff tremendously, and appreciate the work they do to make TPL one of the world’s greatest library systems. We’re working to reach a deal that is fair to both parties and Toronto residents, and will work to the strike deadline and beyond if necessary to reach an agreement.”
Maureen O’Reilly, president of Local 4948, said in an interview that talks had produced no recent progress.
She said negotiators representing the arms’-length library board seemed unwilling to budge from key points that apparently came from city manager Peter Wallace and Mayor John Tory.
Those include a below-inflation pay hike of 5 per cent over four years and the phasing out of job security provisions except for full-time permanent staff who have 15 years’ seniority by 2019. The union says that would leave 57 per cent of staff vulnerable to layoffs if the city contracts out their work.
The union is asking for pay hikes of 2 per cent per year, noting that city council last year gave rank-and-file police officers raises totalling 8.64 per cent over four years.
“I would like to know why Mr. Tory can’t give us the same deal he gave to police,” O’Reilly said.
Local 4948 plans a rally in Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday and is running ads seeking public support.
It also released tape of Tory in 2011, when he was a radio host, talking to then-councillor Doug Ford about finding library efficiencies.
“You could have a library system with 89 branches instead of 99 and actually have better service at the end of it. I believe that’s possible,” Tory said.
Siri Agrell, a Tory spokeswoman, said in an email Friday: “Toronto is lucky to have one of the greatest library systems in the world. Our library employees provide important services across the city and the mayor is hopeful that our more than 100 branches will continue to operate on Monday without a labour disruption.
“Earlier this year, the city reached agreements with its inside and outside workers that were fair, respectful and sustainable. The mayor is confident an agreement can be reached with library employees that is consistent with this approach.”