The Library and the Union (IAM)

The IAM involvement really stemmed from a group of Branch Librarian DLI’s pushing for equality with Main DLII’s. A group of Branch Librarians around 2005 felt that we had at least as much responsibility (being in charge of stand-alone buildings without security) as the Main Department Heads. I think it was mainly Karen Cressy, Sue Taylor, Karol Seehaus, Lynda Fritz and myself (I may be missing a few). We put together a lot of documentation and statistics that were presented to Human Resources. Eventually we won a compromise where Librarians at bigger / busier Branches (Eldo, North, Harte, Dana…I think!) were promoted to DLII (possibly 2006).

As a result of all our meetings, Karol and I realized that Library staff needed better representation and presence with the IAM. Library involvement with the Union had been very minimal up to that point. We both became Union Stewards and started having Labor / Management meetings to discuss and resolve staff issues. When the IAM contract came up for negotiation in 2006/2007, Karol and I joined the Contract Negotiation Committee with all the other represented City Departments. I believe that was the first time Library staff was represented at the negotiation table. Karol in particular made a huge impression with both the IAM and the City. Karol’s tenacity, passion and persuasive arguments won the respect of both sides of the table.

Karol served on at least one more round of negotiations (2009 and 2011) before she retired in 2012. and I’ve served on the two most recent rounds of negotiations (2013 and 2016). Regular Labor / Management meetings continue and have resulted in many issues, big and small, getting resolved.