Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Budget cuts at Vancouver Public Library

The news is coming fast and furious from Canada and it ain't good.  Vancouver Public Library is the latest public system to fall victim to massive budget cuts.  CUPE 391 (the union that represents VPL workers) has made available the reduction in working hours that will affect library workers and effectively keep many of them below the level at which benefits are provided.

Ironically, the cuts will take effect on May Day, International Workers' Day.  While VPL management attacks their workforce, they are simultaneously hoping to fill another director's position that pays $120,000/year (over one-fifth of the amount that they are hoping to save with the cuts).

From the site:

"The Library Board no longer talks of valuing our staff in the Value Statements.  The Board does talk of wise use of resources.  In the February meeting the Union offered several money saving options that would have delivered the necessary cuts.  We know for a fact that:

  • Several retirements have been announced
  • Branch head positions can be brought back into scope through current review.  Savings of over $100,000
  • Vancouver Shared Services Review regarding Security is happening this year; savings of over $200,000 plus benefits
But here is the kicker, - Savings of $120,000 + benefits (40,000?) for a directors position.  This position has sat empty for almost a year and, oddly, there is a sudden rush to fill it around the implementation of the budget cuts.  We say the library didn’t need the position."

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