FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 2, 2024
Contact: Neil Bhaerman, 412-266-4899, email@example.com
First Union Contract Goes Into Effect for Grandview Heights Public Library Workers
Grandview Heights, Ohio — For workers at Grandview Heights Public Library (GHPL), today is the first workday covered by a union contract. This is the first contract agreement for GHPL and Grandview Heights Public Library United (GHPLU) – the union of librarians and library workers. The contract makes meaningful improvements on paid leave and job security, ensures continued competitive wages, and provides a framework for ongoing collaboration.
“We love our jobs and want to provide the best service we can to our patrons, but that’s only possible if we’re able to retain our talented and knowledgeable staff,” said Jennifer Nolte, a Youth Services & Teen Librarian and member of the union bargaining committee. “Our new contract will help us do just that. New benefits like paid parental leave and partial tuition reimbursement will keep staff from leaving when they’re considering going back to school or starting a family. This is a win not only for our library, but for our patrons as well.”
In addition to improvements or new policies on parental leave, sick and vacation leave, holidays, and tuition reimbursement, the new contract also includes a labor/management committee, health and safety protections, and raises of 12% through the life of the contract. The labor/management committee is a collaborative space where the union and library can continue to work together to solve or prevent problems in the workplace.
Employees also won “just cause” and progressive discipline protections, which ensure that employees are only terminated for just cause that is consistent with the contract and workplace policies and provide employees with opportunities for job performance improvement for less serious infractions. Provisions of the contract are enforceable through a binding grievance and independent arbitration process.
"We couldn't be more excited to see this first contract come to life. Thanks to everything we've achieved by working with our administration, all GHPL workers now have access to paid parental leave, vacation and sick leave, and the security of 'just cause' employment status,” said R.C. Worrell, a Library Associate at GHPL and member of the union bargaining committee. “This year, GHPL will celebrate our 100th anniversary, and we know that having a newly unionized workforce will only make those celebrations all the better!"
Grandview Heights librarians and library workers came forward with their pro-union supermajority in August 2022, GHPL’s administration and Board of Trustees voluntarily recognized the union October 2022, and the union was officially certified by the State Employment Relations Board in December 2022. GHPLU is one of three central Ohio library unions in OFT; Worthington Public Libraries United formed their union in 2021 and ratified their first contract in March 2023, and Pickerington Public Library United Staff formed their union in 2023 and are beginning to negotiate their first contract.
“Libraries are cornerstones of our communities,” said Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT). “Librarians and library workers help foster a lifelong love of reading, they create safe spaces for our kids and teens, and they help our neighbors access important social services — and those workers deserve a voice at work, job security, and workplace policies rooted in respect and fairness.”