Uncertain future for libraries staff
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.
Auckland Libraries staff have received documentation regarding proposed changes to their organisation.