Employment & Work Stories

Toronto Librarians On Strike

All 98 branch libraries in Toronto are closed as negotiations have broken down between librarians and the city.

Toronto’s public libraries, one of the early areas of friction in Rob Ford’s drive to cut public spending, are now the scene of the first strike of the mayor’s 15-month-old administration.

The library walkout may not be the only labour disruption the city faces this month. The union that represents inside workers has scheduled a strike vote for Tuesday. City-run swimming pools, recreation centres, daycares and other municipal services could be affected as early as Saturday.

The library strike is the first since the amalgamation of the old Metro Toronto municipalities into a single city.

On his way to a meeting Sunday, the mayor was terse in comments to reporters about either labour development, saying only that he hoped for a settlement.

Mr. Ford was able last month to clinch a deal, that included a rollback on some job-security provisions, from the city’s outside workers. They were not in a position to command much public sympathy so soon after an unpopular 2009 strike that affected garbage pickups and parks maintenance.

Toronto Library Workers request No Board report to spur negotiations

Library Workers request No Board report to spur negotiations
The Toronto Public Library (TPL) Workers Union (CUPE Local 4948) has requested the Ministry of Labour issue a "no board" report on its contract negotiations with the Toronto Public Library Board.

Maureen O'Reilly, President of Local 4948, said the union made the no board request because negotiations had reached an impasse. Despite the presence of a conciliator, the employer has not shown any interest in substantive negotiations leading to a collective agreement that would ensure stability and protect the library services Toronto residents depend on. "It's our members who deliver those services. And our members value the services they deliver just as much as the public does," said O'Reilly. "But it's also our members being cut from budgets, and now the Library Board is seeking massive concessions from their contract.

Occupy Lamont's rhetoric distracts from the issue of layoffs

Occupy Lamont’s rhetoric distracts from the issue of layoffs
"Again, we welcome Occupy Lamont to go about their business. But a discussion of the kind that they claim to be interested in having ought not distract from the issue at hand. As a community, we do not need to re-imagine the fundamental properties of the library. There is no impetus to do so, and Harvard’s librarians, led by University Librarian Robert C. Darnton ’60, have been working not only on modernizing our system but also making Harvard’s material accessible for free online. Occupy Lamont distracts and potentially impinges on this real progress, and stands in the way of a frank discussion about layoffs."

A Requst From Desiree Goodwin, the Harvard Library Worker Who Was Too Pretty

Remember Desiree Goodwin who sued Harvard Library and lost? She's still at Harvard and still looking for better working conditions (for the pretty?); here's her note:

Hey,

I just signed the petition "HUCTW Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers, Bill Jaeger: Stand Up for Workers' Rights!" and wanted to see if you could help by adding your name.

Our goal is to reach 100 signatures and we need more support. You can read more and sign the petition here:

https://www.change.org/petitions/huctw-harvard-union-of-clerical-and-technical-workers-bill-...

Thanks!
Desiree

Interested in an Internship at Library of Congress This Summer?

Here's an opportunity for talented college-age students headed for the field of LIS:

This summer the Library of Congress once again is offering special 10-week paid internships to college students. For a stipend of $3,000, the 2011 class of Junior Fellows Summer Interns will work full-time from May 29 through Aug. 3, 2012, with Library specialists and curators to inventory, describe and explore collection holdings and to assist with digital-preservation outreach activities throughout the Library.

In addition to the stipend (paid in bi-weekly segments), interns will be eligible to take part in programs offered at the Library. Applications will be accepted online only at usajobs.gov , keyword: 308129000, from Friday, Jan. 27 through midnight, Monday, Feb. 27. For more details about the program and information on how to apply, visit www.loc.gov/hr/jrfellows/. Questions about the program may be sent to [email protected].

The Library of Congress is an equal-opportunity employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to apply. [ed. note: not positive about transgendered individuals, see previous story on LISNews.]

Students Save School Librarian's Life

Students Save School Librarian’s Life
Students at Piper Elementary are being recognized for their life saving efforts. The school held an assembly on Friday to honor Mrs. Ward’s first grade class.

The librarian had an apparent heart attack while the students were using the library a couple of weeks ago.

Trolley helps lighten load for librarians

Trolley helps lighten load for librarians
Moving up and down, depending on weight, meant the book needed was always on top, at an easy-to-reach level, he said.

He said the prototype trolley would put an end to bending and stretching into deep book bins, a daily problem for librarians.

Mataura librarian Julie de Villiers approached the engineering company about the problem.

"She had heard about hydraulic-based bins in the UK libraries but could not find anything like them in New Zealand, so she came to us," Mr Clarkson said.

Egyptian librarians found first union

Egyptian librarians found first union
Over 200,000 librarians, archivists and information specialists in Egypt today can organise themselves via an official union. In the presence of Minister of Culture Shaker Abdel-Hamid and head of the National Library and Archives Zein Abdel-Hadi, who is also a librarian by profession, the founding conference of the new union was held at the National Library premises with representatives from the governorates of Monufiya, Daqahlia, Qena, Kafr El-Sheikh and others.

Gift Cards for Library Employees a No-No

Good intentions. Bad idea. Those words summarize the recent attempt by Live Oak (GA) Public Libraries Director Christian Kruse to spend nearly $23,000 in library funds on gift cards for 166 employees.

The cards were valued at $50, $100 and $200 and were meant to recognize part-time and full-time employees after about three years of stagnant salaries and increased health care costs, Kruse said.

He said the cards were meant to be a small token for the work the staff does and were paid for with surplus revenue from a special fund from book sales, fines and fee revenue. Finance Director Neal Vickers later said revenue from copying and printing fees was used.

One problem is the gift cards may have violated restrictions on the use of public funds, according to state officials.

The gratuities clause of the Georgia Constitution prohibits the use of public funds for gifts or bonuses, said Ronald Watson, director of the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts’ education division. A state audit of the library probably would cite the purchase as improper, he said.

Any money that comes from library operations, which are state supported, should be invested in operations, and gift cards don’t qualify, Watson said. More from Savannah Now.

Welcome to Amazon Town

"Retired 'Workampers' Flock to Remote Towns for Temporary Gigs...a sort of modern-day migrant worker. Many of them are retirees who spend all or part of the year living in RVs and taking odd seasonal jobs around the country. While some workers really need the money, others said they take the gigs to help fund their adventures or just for fun."

More from the Wall Street Journal.

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