Strike deadline set at libraries in Cleveland

Bob Cox notes News From Ohio where A union has set an April 20 strike deadline at the Cleveland Public Library.

A federal mediator is working with the library and Service Employees International Union Local 1199, which represents 407 of the library system's 735 workers, including librarians, custodians, clerks and carpenters.

Union steward Ryan Moore said Friday the library is demanding concessions in health care, leave, transfers and outsourcing. He said that, over three years, the union wants raises of 5 to 5.5 percent a year but management has offered just 1 percent a year.


I live in Florida where the local library is hiring smart college undergrads as "Librarian I" employees. So glad I got that MLS.

Unions are the scourge of our society. They are why US made goods are often overpriced when contrasted with foreign goods (before tariffs are applied to jack up the price of imports). They is why the UPS guy gets >= 50K to smash packages and deliver them to the wrong address. Unions were needed 60-70 years ago to protect workers, however legislation, federal regulation, and executive agencies such as Labor, OSHA, US Bureau of Mines and similar protect the worker now and unions are out dated, bloated machines used primarily to enrich their leaders.

The NEA is the worst of them all. I can decide not to buy an overpriced car, but the NEA has ruined the public shcools with the cooperation of the legislators they bought. I have to deal with these barely literate, innumerate public school graduates daily at the grocery, the cleaners, the car wash or the restaurant. $14/ hr for some union member to stock shelves at the grocery store and California wonders why everything is so expensive on the left coast.

I'll happily work in Cleveland. I'll happily cross a picket line. I want to be a librarian, that is why I went to school. We all knew we were not going to make a mint doing this, so they should advance professionally and negotiate their own pay or move to a better position. I'd love to be guaranteed a five percent raise every year, but I have to earn it each year by doing my work well. Of course since they are hiring BS degreed people to be librarians in my city I have had to resort to working as a contractor writing code, not my longterm career choice.

Boy, you better watch out with those types of comments or the leftists are going to go after you. Can't have that type of attitude, it makes too much sense.

Right.... Walmart has it. The CEO makes billions
and the 'associates' make minimum wage. Cleveland PL should strives for that model: Chief librarian makes over $100,000, professionnal MLS $8/hour.

We will get thousand of librarians running to work there.

...cannot blame unions for the mess that Jacksonville, the entire city, not just its shitty library system, is in.

Jacksonville is run by Republicans, has a church on every corner (and in every strip mall), has over 45% adult illiteracy, tons of poor people, tons of crimes, and is basically a crap hole. Librarians are being punched in the face and physically attacked in their system, but that is probably endemic to the public-library profession.

I don't think the union (and anyone who thinks that a place like Jacksonville, FL has some kind of strong union presence needs to go back to school or at least check their meds) can be blamed for this.

Public libraries that were not unionized were more than happy to pay those BIG BUCKS to non-MLSers, and in some places I have worked, high school grads.

Well at least one, me. It is a Catch-22. I can't get a good library job because I have no library experience (of course my 5 years at a big consulting firm using and teaching LexisNexis,Dialog,Factiva and the like don't count to the wonks in the city HR department because it was not at a library. I could have swept the floors at the library and that would have counted).

So I will work for $8/ hr to get the experience and then after a year or so I will leave for a better paying job. The library will soon realize that they can't keep staff for low pay and will raise it to remain competative. See that is how our free market system works.

Will I work for 16K a year, yes if I must to get out of the Catch-22 I am currently in. Will I like it, not particularly, will I have enough money for food, housing and healthcare? Yes I can live frugally and I have saved quite a bit from the jobs I held previously so I can make the car payment and have a few things I want but don't need. Will I be able to make my annual European trip? Not with that job, but I can always skip a year.

So if those librarians who are about to strike are not happy, leave there is at least one person who wants your job.

No, it is actually Clearwater, Florida. They are opening a new main branch and added 7 FTE 'librarians' all with BS/BA degrees.

Jacksonville in accepting the report of a graduate business student made itself the butt of many jokes. Jacksonville has -from what I can tell from my cursory inquiry- mismanaged their budget so badly they cannot afford to employ anyone in the librarian positions, much less the undergraduates their absurd study proposes.

Insofar as I never said I worked in Jacksonville, but you jumped to that conclusion, perhaps you should be the one to go back to school or check your medications. I have degrees, both graduate and undergraduate, in various fields that I enjoy and the only medicataions I take are vitamins.

The library can certainly help in breaking the cycle of illiteracy and poverty. Unions only perpetuate it.
I fail to see how Republicans and Churches are a bad thing. I guess you want to stifle any thoughts that don't exactly match yours. Why did you become a librarian?

Jacksonville "has over 45% adult illiteracy"

That number seems awfully high. Any source to back up that number?

I think it's an anonymous source.

Hey I welcome you to come work in Cleveland. You can come and get maced like me and my coworkers and then the management tell you can not go home even though your sick to your stomach and coughing your lungs out. You can be forced to work in conditions that have students throw snowballs at you and where the riot police is on guard after school lets out. I welcome you to come over here and see how long you will stay. You are a fool.....

I too welcome you to join us at the Cleveland Public Library. Though from your previous remarks, I would be willing to wager that you would not last here very long. To start out, the graduation rate in the City of Cleveland is less than 30%. So instead of having to deal with those "barely literate,innumerate public school graduates" you will be dealing with even less literate, innumerate public school DROPOUTS. Not only can you look forward to the wonders of that, but you will also have the opportunity to: have your car vandalized (or stolen; be harrassed by patrons, and even physically threatened or attacked; "surprises" in the book drops (dead animals anyone?); work in an unsafe environment; deal with an unsympathetic Administration; plus much, much more!

Those are just a few of the wonderful experiences that you too can enjoy here at the Cleveland Public Library. Forget the "Leave it to Beaver" image of public libraries, and join us in the real world where our most popular and most frequently checked out library materials are GED books and entertainment videos! Come work for CPL and cross the picket line. I will be more than happy to "greet" you.

Heartless, self-centered people like you are the scourge of our society, and the reason that many of you are in the predicaments that you are in.

That is the number supplied to me by the adult literacy program run by the PL.

Jacksonville is a place that needs to be visited for the full experience.

Wouldn't it be more accurate to lose the word "even" and say, "I'll work there temporarily?" But hey, you are among friends here - lets not quibble over the semantics.

I applied to many public library positions for eight months with few interviews until a helpful veteran public librarian clued me in on a few things.

One: First off, the obvious, no library wants to hire someone temporarily. If you are over-qualified for the job they will take a pass since they don't want to replace you after you've gotten some experience.

Two: Public Libraries have no way of knowing if you can work with the public. They only know you can work in a corporate training environment - which as the CPL staff have demonstrated - is a different scene. There is no "Read The Freakin' Manual" allowed in public libraries. You may even be plummeted if you drop a "no European tour for me this year" bomb.

Three: Public libraries are a different breed from businesses and do not operate as a business does in the free market system. The library trustees will NOT realize that they can't keep staff for low pay and it will NOT raise it to remain competitive. Competitive with what? The book store? The next town's libary? Sure, people can stop patronizing their local library -for reasons of poor service or lack of products -but unless they move - they will still contribute financially.

IMHO - unions CAN be a good thing for public libraries. I have never worked in a system that had a union - but I think the pluses are extraordinary. Now, the minuses are there too.

Like, you can't unload a box of books if it is not your job type stuff. But that is for another post....