COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
On Thursday, the Daniel Boone Regional Library Workers United protestd during the DBRL's board of trustees meeting, according to a press release.
The protest comes after a proposal was rejected by the Daniel Boone Regional Library on Tuesday.
Branch Lead of Outreach Services for the the DBRL Carolyn Cain said it was disappointing for union workers to be close to coming to an agreement, only to have it rejected.
"It's very discouraging, it is very discouraging. I can't tell you how much personal time I have put in," Cain said.
The union posted on its Facebook page Tuesday, claiming that its 11-page proposal was rejected within eight minutes of sending it to the library. The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 3311 said in a release before the negotiations that it was working to improves wages and benefits for workers.
DBRL Workers United President Wendy Rigby noted that the library and union are close to coming to a deal, but still have a few things on hand that they disagree on. Rigby said those include protection for workers, workers wanting to be told if the library were planning to sell or merge and salaries.
In a statement sent to ABC 17 News via email on Thursday, DBRL spokesperson Mitzi St. John said the library administration believes bargaining teams are close to reaching an agreement on health care and wages.
St. John's statement claims a preliminary budget approved by the Board of Trustees included a 5% raise.
"DBRL administration is working with representatives of the DBRL Workers United to improve wages and benefits that stay within the library's expected 2024 budget," the statement reads. "The Daniel Boone Regional Library's budget operates on the calendar year and library administration wants to be able to make adjustments to the preliminary budget in time to present it to the Daniel Boone Regional Library Board of Trustees for approval in December. "
Workers who participated in the protest noted having to skip meals and rely on food banks in order to eat, due to the poor wages. Others said they struggle to pay for basic necessities, such as prescription glasses. Rigby said she has worked at the library for 20 years, and still makes just $15.77 per hour.
Rigby believes the two sides coming to a deal could be beneficial for numerous workers.
"...Can't afford the health care that's offered here and can't spend time with their newborn children because we haven't had paid leave...so that can make a huge difference," Rigby said.
Cain said during discussions moving forward, she is hopeful the two are able to see eye to eye.
"So we're willing to go that extra mile and meet management halfway," Cain said. "We all have to work together in the end so we just need to get together and find a common ground and work to make it a good, fair contract for everyone."
Mitzi said the next bargaining session is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 28.