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Regina: CUPE members at the Regina Public Library welcome the library boards decision to create a Library Task Force to seek public input, but they say all changes to library services must be put on hold.

Its a sham to call for public input on the future of library services, when the board has predetermined the outcome, says union spokesperson Donna Wilde.

In announcing the formation of the task force yesterday, Library Board Chair Faye Cameron said its purpose would be to gather ideas from the community about library services based on a model where the cuts have taken place.

Last week, the librarys director publicized plans to close three of the citys branch libraries - Connaught, Prince of Wales and Glen Elm as well as the main librarys Dunlop Art Gallery. Other services such as the Prairie History Room will be drastically reduced. The cuts, effective March 1, 2004, will result in the loss of 27 positions.

If the library board wants the public consultation process to be meaningful, it must shelve its plan to close libraries and drastically cut services, says Wilde, president of CUPE 1594, which represents nearly 200 library workers in the city. It cant have a public consultation process with cuts attached.

The proposed library closures have generated a storm of protest across the city, as residents demand to know why Mayor Pat Fiacco a member of the library board and other councilors didnt disclose plans to cut library services during the recent civic election.

CUPE is one of the organizations named to sit on the library task force. Wilde says the union will be pleased to participate once the library board shelves its proposal to drastically reduce library services.


For more information, contact:
Aina Kagis at 536-8226