Strengthening Canada’s libraries: CUPE a strong presence at the CLA’s annual conference
CUPE made its presence felt at the annual conference of the Canadian Library Association. Mark Hancock, national president of CUPE, spoke at the conference’s opening session.
“We can work together to fight library closures, like those recently announced in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Hancock, addressing the conference’s 230 delegates. “We can work together to ensure more meaningful and less precarious employment, and to improve workplace health and safety. We can challenge the privatization of public library assets, and lobby for better public funding of our library systems.”
Hancock also introduced the opening session keynote speaker, Chief Wilton Littlechild. Chief Littlechild, a commissioner with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, gave a passionate speech on the rights of Indigenous peoples.
CUPE sponsored the opening session, and had a booth at the CLA’s trade show and exhibition, held in Ottawa, June 1-3. The booth promoted workers’ rights, raised awareness of issues of health and safety, and promoted CUPE’s literacy initiatives.
After 70 years, the Canadian Library Association will be transitioning into a new structure. It will soon be known as the Federation of Library Associations of Canada.
CUPE represents 22,000 members working in libraries – in school libraries, in university and college libraries, and in municipal and public libraries across the country.