FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2024
Contact: Neil Bhaerman, 412-266-4899, email@example.com
Overwhelming Majority of Upper Arlington Public Library Workers Call for Union Recognition
UAPL workers seek to become the fourth central Ohio library workforce to join the Ohio Federation of Teachers since 2021.
UPPER ARLINGTON, OHIO — Today, an overwhelming majority (69.3%) of librarians and library workers at Upper Arlington Public Library (UAPL) called on their Director and Board of Trustees to voluntarily recognize their union. Copies of signed union cards from an overwhelming majority of library employees were delivered to management, while the originals were filed with the State Employee Relations Board (SERB) to request voluntary recognition of the union.
“We’re organizing our union because we want the library to be the best it can be for the people who work here and the people we serve,” said Victoria Schrock, a programmer at Lane Road Library. “We need better staff retention, better communication, and more accountability at the top. A union will help us get there by giving us a voice in the room where decisions are made.”
The employees are organizing to join the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT), who represent nearly 20,000 active and retired public school teachers, charter school teachers, school support staff, higher education faculty and staff, library workers and social work professionals in Ohio. They will be the fourth central Ohio library system to join OFT since 2021 (following workers at the public libraries in Worthington, Grandview Heights, and Pickerington).
“Two’s company, three’s a crowd, but four is a movement,” said Melissa Cropper, President of the Ohio Federation of Teachers. “As we get ready to welcome our fourth group of central Ohio library workers into our union, we recognize that we are seeing a regional movement of library workers who are united for quality jobs in their community and world class library resources and services for their patrons.”
Upper Arlington Public Library’s Board of Trustees will have 21 days to decide whether to recognize the union voluntarily or force an election through SERB. Library workers at Grandview Heights Public Library had their union voluntarily recognized by their Board of Trustees, while workers at Worthington Libraries and Pickerington Public Library had landslide wins in union elections after their Boards declined to recognize their unions voluntarily.
“We love our jobs, the people we work with, and the community we serve,” said Jen Downing, a librarian at Tremont Library. “We’re urging our library’s administration to voluntarily recognize our union, based on our strong majority of signed union cards, so that we can work together on equitable pay, annual raises, and family leave policies.”
“At Worthington Libraries, we were able to secure wage increases, paid parental leave, and improved job security after we formed our union,” said Jade Braden, Circulation Assistant at Worthington Libraries and Secretary for Worthington Public Libraries United. “We're excited to see another group of central Ohio library workers organize a union to make improvements for themselves and their patrons.”
In addition to the public libraries in Worthington, Grandview Heights, and Pickerington, staff at six more organizations also formed unions in affiliation with OFT since 2021 (Columbus College of Art & Design, Equitas Health, the School of Bright Promise, Summit Academy in Lorain, Menlo Park Academy in Cleveland, and KIPP Columbus charter schools).
The Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT) is a state federation of 60 local unions of active and retired public school teachers and staff, charter school teachers and staff, higher education faculty and staff, social workers, library workers, and public employees. OFT works to advance quality public education, intellectual freedom, and a voice in the workplace for Ohio’s education & public service professionals. OFT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers.