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Cleveland Librarians Set Feb. 4 Strike Date

CLEVELAND, Ohio — About 400 Cleveland Public Library workers will go on strike Feb. 4 if they can’t reach a contract deal, 1199SEIU announced Jan. 21. “Proposals by Cleveland Public Library administration would outsource Cleveland jobs, and make it more difficult for front-line staff that is already stretched to provide valuable services and programs to the community,” the union said in a statement. The city’s librarians, library assistants, and custodians have been working without a contract since Dec. 31. “We are standing up for the work we do and for the service we provide to our community,” library project coordinator Debbie Hajzak said. “We will not allow the Library to replace dedicated public servants with volunteers, outsource work, and continue to add executive positions while they keep front-line and support staffing at a bare minimum.” Earlier this month, 1199SEIU accused library officials of breaking state law by posting messages disputing the union’s claims about wages and staffing on the Cleveland Public Library’s Twitter account. The law bars the use of public funds to support or oppose labor organizations or actions by or against them. Library officials said the messages were “for the purpose of providing information to the public.” Read more

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