Library staff need to reapply for jobs
More than 700 Auckland Libraries staff will have to reapply for their jobs in an organisation-wide restructure.
Auckland Libraries held a media conference on Monday outlining a restructure aimed to prepare for a digitally focused future through its ‘‘Fit for the Future’’ programme.
Auckland Council runs 55 libraries in the region, employing 965 staff at the last count in April 2016. Auckland Libraries general manager Mirla Edmundson said about 80 per cent of staff would need to reapply for their jobs.
The new libraries structure would employ 926 permanent fulltime and part-time staff.
Auckland Council’s chief operating officer Dean Kimpton said the restructure would reduce costs by $1.8 million per year.
In March, Auckland Libraries accepted voluntary redundancy from 74 casual, part-time and full time staff.
It was confirmed in October that there were no plans to close any of the libraries.
The Public Service Association - the union representing library staff - said the restructure has been hugely disruptive for staff and it would be a challenge to maintain existing services.
Staff may be feeling relieved to have more clarity, but many would still be nervous about what it meant for them, national secretary Glenn Barclay said.
‘‘The voluntary redundancy process means no-one will forcibly lose their job, but someone
‘‘The voluntary redundancy means no-one will forcibly lose their job.’’
whose job has changed substantially may not want to do it [any more],’’ Barclay says.
Library staff would now work across a local board area rather than a single library, so staff would have to carry extra petrol costs, he said.
The union had made some gains, such as getting the largest Rodney area split into two areas for staff coverage.
Libraries staff also faced more weekend work, as the restructure aimed to have more staff working when most people were visiting libraries.
Some who are full-time now, may be offered 32-hour contracts, and the union will be monitoring impacts on staff, he said.
Edmundson said changes would include better resourced digital, online and telephone services and an expanded mobile service that reaches more socially and geographically isolated communities.
A protestor standing outside the council meeting.