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More part-time staff with fewer benefits in public libraries

From a CBC News article:

“There’s a disturbing trend towards a retail model of staffing at TPL, and part-timers being used to fill holes in the schedule means we feel interchangeable,” Bissell said, adding she sometimes works short shifts of three and a half hours for 12 consecutive days. “Only 22 per cent of Toronto Public Library’s part-time workers have benefits…”

We have a similar situation at the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library: more than half of the remaining librarians are part-time and receive no healthcare, sick leave or even preference for the rare full-time jobs that become available. How does the trend to cut into the U.S. workforce by reducing pay, benefits and even decent working conditions (see On Point’s “Exploited Labor in the US”) do anything to enhance this country’s bottom line? In the case of libraries, it certainly does nothing to improve or sustain a vibrant democracy, which paid professional librarian positions are meant to do.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do better here in Buffalo? Attracting the best and the brightest dedicated professionals to stay and serve in our libraries by offering a sustainable wage and healthcare would enhance our communities.

 

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About Librarians Association

We are the librarians of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library and an affiliate of NYSUT.

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