Talks To Maybe End Library Strike Wednesday

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The head of the Essex County Library Board is optimistic mediated talks between the board and the union that represents striking library workers will end in a tentative deal.

Richard Meloche says CUPE Local 2974 called the board back to the bargaining table and he figures that is an excellent sign.

“We let them know we are firm on third-party insurer so if it’s going to be worthwhile to go back to the table then you have to be accepting of the third-party insurers,” he says.

Meloche has said having all the county bargaining units covered by the same third-party insurer could save the county $500,000.

While Meloche says the employer may not be willing to negotiate on that point, there are other issues where bargaining is possible.

“There are areas we may be able to bend yet,” he says.

The two sides have not met since November, and the 57 workers have been off the job since last June.