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YORKTON – The Yorkton Public Library is abolishing the position of Library Technician 2, a position responsible for frontline customer service at the reference desk.

“The position provides direct service to library patrons,” said Marion Littlewolfe, a library worker and president of CUPE Local 1904. “If you need help finding something, this is the first person you would go to for assistance. The loss of this position has had a noticeable impact on patrons’ library experience.”

The employer claims that the position was abolished for financial reasons. However, the position was not abolished until the union filed grievances after the position had been posted on three different occasions. The Parkland Regional Library claims it is in a financial mess, yet it has hired a consultant to negotiate and perform other managerial functions.

“As of late the workplace morale has dropped. Our collective agreement expired almost a year ago, and we have not yet reached an agreement,” added Littlewolfe. “And now they are cutting back frontline staff, while hiring outside consultants to bargain with us.”

The Yorkton Public Library provides a service to the community of Yorkton and surrounding area. Last year the reference desk was used close to 7,000 times. In general, the library was used 47,360 times in 2014. This includes patrons accessing one of hundreds of programs the library offered. There are five full time employees and an additional five temporary employees.

“The library is a vital component in a community, and it should be recognized as such,” said Littlewolfe. “The people of Yorkton deserve a high quality public library system, and it is time that the management recognizes this and takes steps to maintain it.”