Auckland Libraries cuts 74 jobs
More than 70 Auckland Libraries staff will lose their jobs in what is a precursor to more major changes, a public service union says.
In October the Auckland Council run organisation announced it was consulting with staff as it looked to reallocate its resources to prepare for a digitally focused future.
On Wednesday Auckland Libraries confirmed it had accepted voluntary redundancy from 74 casual, part-time and full time staff.
In total it received 104 voluntary redundancy applications.
On January 25 staff received documents on proposed changes to work conditions. Staff were given until mid-February to provide feedback.
Auckland Libraries manager Mirla Edmundson said letters were sent on Tuesday to the 104 staff who applied for voluntary redundancy to advise them of the outcome of their applications.
Edmundson said the 74 redundancies equated to 48 full time equivalent staff in a department which currently has 767 full time roles across the region.
Staff will be leaving their roles between now and June 30.
Public Service Association national secretary Glenn Barclay said the final outcome of the restructure was expected in early April.
‘‘The consultation process around voluntary redundancies is unfortunately likely to be just a precursor to more major changes,’’ Barclay said.
‘‘It’s distressing that so many staff have accepted voluntary redundancies, and is perhaps indicative of the extent and impact of the council’s overall restructuring plans, which we are yet to fully see,’’ Barclay said.
‘‘We recognise that libraries are changing given the rise of digital technology, and that the role of librarians is changing with them.
‘‘However, they arguably now serve an even more important role in facilitating access to the digital world and acting as cul- tural hubs within the wider community.’’
Edmundson said Auckland Libraries was progressing with its Fit for the Future programme designed to ensure that it responded to the changing needs of customers, and made better use of resources across the region.
Auckland Council runs 55 libraries in the region employing about 1000 people.
The restructure has been brewing since October last year.