Un­cer­tain fu­ture for li­braries staff

Auckland City Harbour News - - OUT & ABOUT - HUGH COLLINS

More than 1000 staff at li­braries across Auck­land face an un­cer­tain fu­ture.

Last week Auck­land Li­braries staff re­ceived doc­u­ments from their em­ployer Auck­land Coun­cil con­tain­ing pro­posed changes to their work con­di­tions.

Auck­land Coun­cil runs 55 li­braries in the re­gion em­ploy­ing 1009 peo­ple in­clud­ing part time and ca­sual staff.

Pub­lic Ser­vice As­so­ci­a­tion na­tional sec­re­tary Glenn Bar­clay said staff would be read­ing the doc­u­men­ta­tion and how it will im­pact them, their col­leagues and the ser­vices they pro­vide to thou­sands of Auck­lan­ders.

The PSA is a demo­cratic union that rep­re­sents more than 62,000 mem­bers work­ing in cen­tral and lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

Bar­clay said the PSA had been in dis­cus­sions with Auck­land Coun­cil through­out the process.

‘‘We agree that there are op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove li­brary ser­vices for Auck­lan­ders, but we are con­cerned about the prospect of job losses and re­duced fund­ing,’’ Bar­clay said.

Bar­clay said while there were el­e­ments of the changes that the PSA agreed with, such as en­sur­ing Auck­land Li­braries were ready for a dig­i­tal fu­ture, any change would be stress­ful for peo­ple go­ing through it.

‘‘PSA mem­bers will be work­ing to­gether in the com­ing weeks to di­gest all the in­for­ma­tion they have been given, and re­spond­ing to Auck­land Coun­cil with their thoughts, based on their ex­peri- ence work­ing in li­braries across Auck­land.

The pro­posed new staffing ar­range­ments may be pos­i­tive for some staff but they would not work for ev­ery­one and PSA hoped Auck­land Coun­cil was flex­i­ble in terms of mak­ing the out­come of the process work for as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble.

‘‘At this stage it is likely that fi­nal de­ci­sions will not be made un­til mid-March.

But coun­cil have in­di­cated this may shift depend­ing on the level of re­sponse they re­ceive to the pro­posal, to en­sure they have time to prop­erly con­sider the sug­ges­tions made.’’

Auck­land Li­braries gen­eral man­ager Mirla Ed­mund­son said staff would have un­til midFe­bru­ary to pro­vide feed­back.

She told Stuff in Oc­to­ber that the li­brary’s ‘‘Fit for the fu­ture’’ pro­gramme was look­ing at ways to re­al­lo­cate its re­sources and re­spond to changes in tech­nol­ogy.

‘‘We are def­i­nitely not slash­ing ev­ery­thing,’’ Ed­mund­son said.

JOHN HAWKINS/FAIR­FAX NZ

Auck­land Li­braries staff have re­ceived doc­u­men­ta­tion re­gard­ing pro­posed changes to their or­gan­i­sa­tion.

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