Workers at the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre are staging a work stoppage on Friday 2 July as part of their campaign for better wages and conditions.
To make sure no staff suffer any hardship as a result of this, please consider donating to cover the cost of the wages they will lose by going on strike. Every dollar will go straight to the accounts of union members who've taken part in the action and requested support.
Library workers and community members will also be staging a rally out the front of the Geelong Library & Heritage Centre on Friday 2 July from 3pm onwards, so if you can, come and join the rally in solidarity!
Geelong Regional Library Corporation has been ranked as the best public library service in Victoria for six years in a row. However the wages of staff across the 17 branches and two mobile libraries do not reflect this achievement and their value to the Geelong, Surf Coast, Queenslcliffe and Golden Plains communities. Frontline customer service staff earn close to the bottom of the ladder, coming in at number 45 out of 49 public library services in Victoria, and have been told that they cannot expect to close the nearly 20% gap between themselves and their Melbourne counterparts because it is dramatically cheaper to live in Geelong. This is simply not true and staff at GRLC are understandably fed up with being undervalued. Union members have decided to undertake protected industrial action to fight for fairer wages and working conditions.
Alongside fairer wages, staff are requesting steps be taken to ensure a safer workplace. Requests include safe car parks for staff leaving the central CBD library after dark, naloxone training and kits, longer security guard hours and for libraries to be staffed by two people at all times. From an outside perspective these safety precautions may seem unnecessary but unfortunately workplace violence and harm is common in public libraries and staff deserve to be safe at work.
After concerted efforts from management to stifle less drastic actions, like waiving late fines, GRLC union members have decided that their only option is to undertake a short stopwork action to make their voices heard. Any donations and any additional supporters at their rally on 2 July will hugely strengthen that fight, and will be massively appreciated.