Cupe 391 Update

Hello CUPE 391 members.

First things first. The Bindery. I have sent a one page item to the Union contacts, describing why the Bindery is an excellent and treasured service. It has definite strengths that a marketing campaign could capitalize on. The information sheet also refers to the sloppy errors and inconsistencies in the consultant’s report.

Please ask your union contact for a copy of the information sheet. Use it to inform the public (outside the library) and friends.


We need every staff member and all committed public library users to pack that Library Board meeting on December 13th at 5.30.

Please express your support for this important public service.

Phone 604-331-4003 and book a seat at VPL’s library board meeting on Wednesday, December 13, 2006 at 5.30 p.m.

Central Library, 350 West Georgia, Library Square.

It is important to note that it is preferred that you call 604-331-4003 to book a seat for this meeting. We must make every effort to show the board members how important we know this service to be to the collection. Ask your coworkers each day if they have booked a seat yet.

The VPL Values statement includes “Access for all” and the Vision statement stresses the importance of “preserves the record of our experience”. The bindery supports all of our values.

The bindery saves the library’s operating costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by reinforcing and repairing materials. It is more cost-effective to spend $7.65 (approx.) for a rebind instead of reordering an item which may cost from $40 to $200 on high-circulating materials.

We also find the consultant’s use of the phrase, “it’s a sentimental thing”, (Globe and Mail, Thursday Nov.30, 2006, BC Section), both uninformed and trite. It fails to respect the public’s right to continue to own a first-rate provincially-used collection.

In spite of the bindery staff being pared down to 5.8 workers, the work is still produced in a timely, competitive-to-market price manner. The previous consultations (1992, 1999) have found that its services cost less than outsourcing the work. This latest consultation spouts opinions and figures without facts.

As an adult education practitioner, I frequently have to write proposals and reports that include a needs analysis, a cost benefit analysis, opportunities for sustainability and capacity-building, and an informed ongoing evaluation of practice. None of these generally-accepted practices have been included in this report. Nor does it follow the terms of reference for the consultation; one of which was to explore opportunities to promote and market the in-sourcing of business to the bindery.

If the Board’s decision is to agree with Management’s recommendation, it does not bode well for other closed divisions. One of the top requests in the bargaining survey was stronger and better clauses for job security and contracting out language. This will add a very interesting dynamic to the bargaining process.