VANCOUVER—Vancouver Public Library (VPL) may be jeopardizing thousands of dollars in donations to the United Way by putting an end to all branch visits by non-branch library workers, says the president of the CUPE local currently fighting to save the Central branch’s in-house bindery.
CUPE Local 391 president Alexandra Youngberg says her union was recently informed by VPL Human Resources director Brenda Prosken that VPL workers would henceforth be denied branch visits before, during or after work.
Youngberg says the directive was issued specifically to prevent CUPE members from promoting a public board meeting scheduled for tomorrow (May 30) at Central Library in order to save the bindery. Initially, library management was willing to grant 10-minute branch visits prior to opening time to promote the meeting. But further discussion led to a total ban.
If applied across the board, the CUPE 391 president argues, the directive could prevent the union from supporting community causes such as the United Way.
“This is really shameful—branch visits are a major part of the CUPE United Way drive,” says Youngberg, adding that the Union has raised more than $125,000 in the past five years for United Way activities.
“If we can’t promote the board meeting through branch visits, does this not logically extend to the United Way campaign?”
Youngberg is calling on the library management team to reverse the policy, regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s bindery announcement.