The Sask Party’s bloody budget has more casualties as Palliser Regional Library, which lost 58 per cent of its budget with no notice from the government, had to lay off six workers at the regional library headquarters.
“I am shocked and appalled that the Sask Party government is gutting our wonderful regional library system,” said Stacey Landin, president of CUPE Local 9, which represents the workers at Palliser Regional Library. “Libraries are integral to our society, and these cuts will have real life implications for the hundreds of thousands of people who use the services every year.”
The provincial budget cut a paltry $3.5 million from regional libraries, but the amount equates to over 50 per cent of funding for all regional libraries. The impact of the cuts will be felt in communities around the province.
“It is astonishing that the government is cutting services and laying off people at the same time they are reducing corporate tax rates,” said Landin. “Our members who work in the library system love their jobs and are proud of the important work they do to provide an amazing service to the people of Saskatchewan. CUPE will fight these cuts and stand up for our members’ jobs.”
The Palliser Regional Library coordinates a significant amount of services for Saskatchewan’s rural public library branch network. Some of the services that will be impacted include a halt to ordering of new books, DVDs, or magazines, the loss of ability to transfer items between libraries, less digital resources such as e-books, and no more vital community programming such as the Summer Reading Program or book clubs.
“It appalls me that the government is cutting funding to our libraries. It seems like Minister Morgan and his Sask Party friends don’t fully understand the important role brick and mortar libraries provide,” said Landin. “I urge everyone who is concerned about these cuts to contact their MLA and let them know why libraries matter.”
CUPE is supporting the grassroots efforts of the Save Saskatchewan Libraries group. You can learn more and take action at www.savesasklibraries.ca.