“My colleagues feel they are tied to the communities. They feel they’re being ripped out of the communities and feel a great sense of loss. They feel a great responsibility towards the communities, especially the 11 branches that are targeted for closing.”--AFSCME Local 2187 recording secretary Steven Wright.
Union members speaking for city library workers (from left to right): Steven Wright, Irene Wright, Rita Urwitz, Jim Quinn, Kahim Boles.
In an effort to eliminate 111 positions, city library officials are laying off 49 people today and leaving 62 positions vacant. The library workers are among the first victims to feel the ax of Mayor Michael Nutter’s $108 million budget cuts in response to the latest economic woes. Under Nutter’s plan, the library system is taking a 20% hit to generate $8 million in city savings by June 30th 2009, and $40 million over the next five years.