CUPE 391 Update

Consultant’s Report and LMT’s recommendation

I have been responding to members’ expressions of outrage and disbelief at the LMT’s recommendation of closing the Bindery.  There are many mistakes and examples of sloppy thinking that guide the recommendations of this report. As union members we naturally resist management’s efforts to layoff fellow members of our workforce.  We support the public’s right to excellent public service and respect their role as the voice that should direct library planning of public service

I think what is irritating to the “proponents of the status quo” (you mean we like because it works) is the lack of planning that goes into VPL initiatives.  First management has a thought and a determination of what a final result should be.  In the case of the recommendation to close the Bindery, the proposed result directs the plan and the facts of the resultant report were rearranged and skewed until they create the result that fulfills the initial proposal to the Board.  This is maddening for those of us who have participated in any project management planning.  We like to see the needs assessment, community input, evaluation of what is out there, progress management reports, evaluations (formative and summative), changes made in response to evaluations, and consultation with all the stakeholders.

Here is a list of some of the aberrant behaviours observed in this report:

  • This is the third report in little over a decade to attempt to close the Bindery.  All the same arguments that saved it in the past still apply.  The Bindery’s costs are still competitive as we in-source work from local businesses and other public services
  • The money for this consultant was wrested from the money the Bindery makes from in-sourcing.  Even Shakespeare could not have devised a more ugly twist in shaping a tragedy.
  • The farcical part is the calculation of costs.  The square footage of the Bindery and the Hydro bill was added in as part of the cost of binding a book
  • Shelf-ready materials from library suppliers that supposedly cost between $2.34 to $4.00 also have the stipulation that you buy 10,000 minimum purchases of the supplier’s books.  This also affects work performed by librarians, preparations and cataloguing – and was distinctly not part of the mandate.
  • This report is driven by the City of Vancouver’s Operating Budget which has included $20,000,000 for the Olympics.  The City is not supposed to add money for the Olympics as line items in the operating budget.  This culminates in cuts to public service.  Basically, the City is has earmarked $5 million for the next four years for the Olympics – this translates into public service cuts for the equivalent amount.  Our bindery was noted by City hall as being expendable.
  • The perceived need for space also drives this report.  Our administration is growing again.  The Staff Lounge was originally vetted as possible office space, but the LMT could not quite summon up the nerve required to turn it into office space.  Sacred burial ground?  Remember the KPMG.

The Union did not receive a copy of this report until November 9, 2006.  We were supposed to receive a copy Oct.20, but the report was deemed to full of mistakes and required revisions.  It is still full of mistakes, but Clause 6 of our Collective Agreement states that “will be communicated to the Union by the Director at such interval before they are dealt with by the Employer as to afford the Union reasonable opportunity to consider them and make representations to the Employer concerning them.  The Union will address this report at the December 13thBoard meeting.  Please email Georgina Bray of your intention to attend.

We would like to see all of the membership in attendance at this very important meeting.  Laying off members strikes at the very heart of what we as a union seek to protect – Union Jobs.  We also protect the public’s right to excellent public service.  We do not want to be turned into a free Chapter’s book outlet.  Please support your fellow members and great public service.  Send the message that a two week sporting franchise is not more important than 76 years of union solidarity.

City of Vancouver’s Operating Budget 2007

I sent an e-mail with a copy of the City of Vancouver’s Operating Budget for 2007.  Please note page 14, where a line item of $5,000,000 for the Olympics has been added for the next 4 years.  I asked that this be removed, when I was at the City Council meeting, as Olympic items are not supposed to be part of the operating budget.  The council thought that was a good idea, the City corporate team did not.  By leaving this item in, the City will have to ask for a 6% increase in taxes to avoid cuts to public services.  If they take it out, they can ask for a 5% increase.  I did request that it be put in as an item that the taxpayers could vote on in the City Choices – 2007 Budget survey.  See survey web address
Below are the dates and locations for City Choices survey.  Please attend and fill out the survey.  Phone 604- 332-4879 or email for information about this survey and its application to members
Your budget, your city, your choice
Mayor and Council want to hear from you this fall during public meetings on the budget. All meetings start at 7:30 pm:

Wednesday, November 15
Kitsilano Community Centre, Lobby, 2690 Larch Street

Monday, November 20
Central Library, Alice MacKay Room, 350 West Georgia Street

Wednesday, November 22
City Hall, Council Chamber (3rd floor), 453 West 12th Avenue

Thursday, November 23
City Hall, Council Chamber (if required)

Monday, November 27
Kensington Community Centre, Seniors’ Lounge, 5175 Dumfries Street

Heather Inglis’ Farewell Party Staff Lounge

Please join CUPE 391 members and members of LMT in wishing Heather all the best of things to come in her new career as a CUPE representative in Prince George, BC

Time: 5 pm. November 24, 2006

Location: Staff Lounge @ Central Library

Heather has worked tirelessly for CUPE 391.  These are some of the initiatives that have sprung from Heather’s active mind and that have been implemented at VPL.

Food Bank Drive – Started by Heather 1987. Drove from Branch to Branch her little red Honda Civic picking up donations and delivering to food bank. Drive now in its 20th year.

EAP – Task force member for 2.5 years developing the current EAP program that was launched in 1990, Board of directors of Vancouver Civic Employee Assistance Society for 15 years.

RSI – Participated in original Labour Canada Study in 1990, RSI project
coordinator that developed and researched training module that forms the
foundation for mandatory RSI training, and subsequently trainer.

Staff Conference – attended CLA, wrote a submission to LMT suggesting VPL initiate Staff Conference. Following year VPL held first Staff Conference.

Let’s send Heather off with a big round of appreciation.  A party for Heather is a party for us all.