Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Berkeley Public Library Director Search: Service Employees International Union 535 Expresses Concern

The Berkeley Daily Planet reports:

Some library activists have been watching the search process for a new library head and say they don’t like what they see.

“It’s very exclusive,” said Jim Fisher, a member of SuperBOLD, Berkeleyans Organizing for Library Defense. To date, the library board chair has hired a professional “head hunter” and established an ad hoc committee of library directors to begin the search.

While Fisher says the community is being left out of the mix, Board of Library Trustees Chair Susan Kupfer counters that such fears are unfounded.

“There will be lots of input from the community,” Kupfer told the Daily Planet. “The community can interview the candidates and rate the candidates very early in the process.” ...
In addition to concerns expressed by Fisher and SuperBOLD, the library union, Service Employees International Union 535, has concerns, particularly because the union was often at odds with former embattled director Jackie Griffin.

“The brochure [announcing the job] should say something about working collaboratively with labor unions and line staff,” said Andrea Segall, SEIU 535 shop steward.

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