Passaic Library Workers Win Overdue Raises

January 28, 2019

UE Local 155 members who work for the Passaic Public Library have approved a new contract, retroactive to July of 2018, that raises wages by three percent each year of the three-year deal.

During negotiations, the library board claimed that Passaic, as a poor city, didn’t have the revenue afford real wage increases. However, UE members — who are paid well below what comparable workers make in other cities in the area — were insistent that they deserved three percent raises. After members voted down a proposal that management claimed was the most they were willing to offer, the board came back with an acceptable settlement.

It was the first time negotiating committee member David Pointer had served on a negotiation team, and he was “very grateful” for the “experience and knowledge” that UE staff brought to the negotiations.

The negotiating committee consisted of Pointer and Orlando Pardillo. They were assisted by Field Organizer Tara McCauley. Passaic Public Library workers voted unanimously to affiliate their independent union to UE in September of 2003 after the city threatened to privatize the library, and with UE’s assistance were successful in maintaining the institution as a public service.

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