Workers at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh this week ratified their first collective bargaining agreement that covers approximately 300 workers across 19 branches as well as the library support center.
The group voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union in August 2019 seeking a seat at the table when it came to decisions impacting the library community and their own working environment.
“I am beyond proud of our bargaining committee and all of our workers who stood in solidarity to win this contract,” said Emily Miller, Adult Programming Librarian at the Office of Programs and Partnerships in East Liberty. “We’ve learned so much and we are excited to continue moving forward with our work as a union.”
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Some of the highlights of the agreement include standardizing positions into “Job Grades” and increasing starting wages, most significantly among the lowest-paid positions; wage increases for current workers guaranteed by four raises over the life of the four-year agreement; limitations to health insurance rate hikes, and the addition of Christmas Eve and Juneteenth as paid holidays.
“Along with the individual gains we made that are unique to our work, we also now have the power that comes from our collective bargaining agreement—a proper grievance procedure,” said Kira Yeversky, a clerk at the Homewood location. “These wins alone will go a long way toward creating a more equitable and just library for everyone.”
The Teamsters and SEIU currently represent the Carnegie Library’s drivers and environmental service workers. This new agreement covers all remaining eligible staff who are among a growing number of USW-represented professional workers in Allegheny County.
The USW represents 850,000 workers employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in health care, public sector, higher education, tech and service occupations.
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