Saturday, June 27, 2015

Strike Action in Australia

Public service workers in Australia have been engaging in mass strike action this month, affecting dozens of departments including the National Library of Australia. The workers are members of the Community and Public Sector Union. Visit the union's Instagram profile and check out the hashtag #cpsunion on Instagram and Twitter for photos and more information.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

New Contract for MoMA Staff

The union representing staff members at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City have reached a tentative agreement with the museum administration on a new collective agreement. Earlier this month museum workers held a protest during Party in the Garden, an annual fundraising event, in response to the museum's proposal that workers cover increased costs related to healthcare.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Rally at Library of Birmingham

Library supporters recently took part in a rally to protest reduced hours and staffing levels at the Library of Birmingham. Library hours have been cut nearly in half and 100 staff members have been laid off as a result of major budget cuts. Donald McCombie from UNISON said "We’re asking this government to rethink their decision to introduce these cuts to the library and recognise the value it offers to the citizens." The library has only been open since September 2013, and cost £189m to build.

Videos and pictures from the rally can be viewed online.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Librarian Positions to be Eliminated at Grimsby Institute

Grimsby Institute in North East Lincolnshire, England has announced plans to eliminate ten of its fifteen librarian positions in an effort to save money. Current library staff will have to apply for the five remaining permanent positions. The school's administration has stated that they will also make use of casual contract positions in creating a "dynamic environment to support online and blended learning".

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Parents Protest Cuts to Quebec School Library Positions

Concerned parents and students showed their support for school librarians at a recent meeting of  Quebec's Lester B. Pearson's School Board, protesting the board's recent decision to eliminate all librarian positions. One parent was quoted in the article as saying:
We are here to support the school librarians and let them know how important libraries are and that reading is very important. I don’t think what they are doing is right. Hopefully, they can find some funds and we can keep our school librarians. I’m worried we are sending the wrong message to our children, that reading is not important. Reading is absolutely important. Honestly, it’s devastating for the schools and for the children. There is only so much a parent volunteer can do.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Protesters Arrested at Santa Cruz City Council Meeting

Members of SEIU Local 521, which represents library and other city workers in Santa Cruz, California, staged a protest during a recent city council meeting in response to what has been described as "poverty wages" for many of its members. The protesters were arrested after refusing to end their demonstration during the public meeting.  Union president Doris Henry said that “the road to recovery should not continued to be paved on our workers’ backs.” The union is currently in negotiations with the city on a new collective agreement.

Strike Action Continues in Barnet Council

Strike action by UNISON members in Barnet Council, UK continues, with a 48-hour strike planned for next week. As previously noted on this blog, the council has plans to outsource library services. A library worker penned an explanation for the strikes, stating "libraries will become little more than book collection points" if the plans for privatization go through.