Home Business & Economy Affordability VIRL & BCGEU librarians back to the table

VIRL & BCGEU librarians back to the table

Wednesday March 2, 2022 | VANCOUVER ISLAND, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

A strike by librarians at branches of the Vancouver Island Regional Library could yet still be averted.

Librarians in the Vancouver Island Regional Library branches served strike notice on February 25. Job action could happen as soon as 8 am tomorrow morning, March 3.

Revised offer submitted to Local 702:

This afternoon, VIRL has revealed that early yesterday, Tuesday March 1, they extended a revised offer to the members of the British Columbia Government Employees Union (BCGEU) Local 702 at Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL).

“At this time, we are awaiting an update from the mediator,” says David Carson, Corporate Communications and Strategic Initiatives, VIRL. 

VIRL and BCGEU have been bargaining the expired BCGEU Collective Agreement (January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2020) since September 2021.

Ongoing discussions:

Carson says today that VIRL “remains committed to working with BCGEU on a solution to this impasse and is hopeful its members will accept the new offer, thereby avoiding a strike”. 

Yesterday BCGEU President Stephanie Smith said that they hoped VIRL would come back to the negotiating table, that leadership of VIRL directors (who are elected by municipal councils around Vancouver Island) is desirable.


On Tuesday, February 22, BCGEU notified VIRL that its members had voted 95% in favour of a strike mandate. On the afternoon of Friday, February 25, BCGEU served 72-hour strike notice. 

On Monday, February 28, 2022, VIRL’s Executive Committee provided guidance to VIRL management on a renewed bargaining mandate. The assigned Labour Relations Board mediator was re-engaged soon thereafter. 

VIRL branches:

VIRL library branches are in municipalities and communities outside the Greater Victoria area.

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===== RELATED:

Vancouver Island librarians ‘learned their worth’ during COVID (March 1, 2022)

Vancouver Island librarians going on strike (February 28, 2022)