CUPE 561 is asking for your help to defend valuable public library services at the Coquitlam Public Library (CPL). They have launched an online email campaign asking City Council and the Library Director to cancel an $800,000 restructuring plan that would increase management positions by 150 per cent and likely see service levels decline.

“To date CPL has refused to say where the funding for these new management positions is coming from and that concerns us,” says CUPE 561 library shop steward Allison Hardman. “The funding that CPL receives is an extremely valuable resource and we fail to see how this restructuring plan will address the needs of our community - that is why we are asking CPL to cancel their plans to implement this restructuring plan.”

CPL has created six new management positions which will cost approximately $600,000 per year in wages and benefits and another $200,000 for initial training and transition costs. Without clarity on where the funding is coming from for these new positions CUPE 561 members are deeply concerned that this will negatively affect services, materials and programs.

Library Director Todd Gnissios has said that “the changes are needed to make the library more technology-friendly and provide more outreach to the community.” However, Hardman says that there is no reason that existing staff couldn’t be trained to deliver these services.

“If CPL’s vision is to do more with technology and find new ways to connect with the community than that is something that CUPE members will support and prepared to fully engage in. We already have staff who are very comfortable with technologies and who are eager to play a part in expanding what the library has to offer. Similarly, outreach – both online and in person – is a core activity of every modern library and one in which CUPE staff should be viewed as partners.”

Click here to send an email to help defend public library services at CPL.

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