The executive of CUPE Local 2329 are outraged that, one day after the release of the provincial budget, the Provincial Information and Library Resources Board (PILRB) has created a new, non-union position in the St. John’s libraries system, while the future of public libraries remains uncertain.
Yesterday, Minister of Finance Cathy Bennett announced that the operating grant was restored to the PILRB until the province completes their review of the provincial public libraries.
“At a time when our entire library system is hanging in the balance, waiting for the results of the review, this seems like a slap in the face to the bargaining unit members who may lose their jobs at the end of the process,” says Dawn Lahey, president of CUPE 2329.
“This money could be better used to improve library services to the public, not to create another behind-the-scenes position that will do nothing to maintain library services in our communities,” says Lahey.
Posted by the Board on April 7, 2017, the new position is for a Librarian IIB, working at the A.C. Hunter, Marjorie Mews, Michael Donovan libraries in the St. John’s region.
According to the posting, the position will be responsible for implementing policies and procedures; aiding in staff selection, mentoring and training; promotion of library materials, programs and services; community outreach and other duties – already performed by librarians currently on staff.
Frontline library workers, members of CUPE 2329, would like answers from the Minister of Finance and the library board.
CUPE represents library workers across the province, including those who work at the 54 libraries facing threats of closure. If the closures go ahead, 61 members of CUPE 2329 will lose their jobs.