Warning message

Please note that this page is from our archives. There may be more up-to-date content about this topic on our website. Use our search engine to find out.
Vancouver’s public library board has shelved a major reorganization plan to the quiet delight of CUPE members at the library, who made it a campaign issue in the recent civic election.

Management planned to replace 13 CUPE librarians with 10 managers at a cost of more than $200,000.

We couldn’t believe the library administration was preparing to spend taxpayers’ money to hire more managers, instead of extending library hours, says CUPE 391 president Audrey Fennema. The 22 branches in the Vancouver library system are closed for a week each August to reduce costs.

The CUPE library workers also questioned the timing of the reorganization plan. The board intended to vote on the plan at its Nov. 27 meeting, before the new library board members were appointed or a new library director was hired.

By the time the more than 100 members and supporters arrived for the biggest library board meeting in history, the board had decided to postpone its decision.

This week, Vancouver’s new labour-friendly council announced it planned to keep the libraries open year round and review the controversial reorganization proposal.

It’s great to hear city councillors advocating expanded library services, says Fennema, adding it’s a novel development at city hall. She’s also pleased council’s library appointee is making a review of the reorganization proposal a high priority.

Knowing the reorganization plan may come back like bile in the new year, CUPE members are celebrating their victory quietly and refraining from rich food.