TORONTO, Oct. 13, 2011 /CNW/ - City Council should reject a sweeping menu of service cuts proposed by
Jane Pyper, the chief bureaucrat at the Toronto Public Library, because
it will significantly diminish service and undermine what has been
widely recognized as one of the best library systems in the world,
according to the Toronto Public Library Workers Union (TPLWU).
The proposed cuts, which in 2012 would amount to more than 10% of the
TPL's current budget, will be considered on Monday by the Library
Board, the majority of whose members were recently hand-picked by Mayor
Ford. Ultimately, the proposed cuts must be accepted or rejected by
City Council. In addition to reduced hours of operation, the proposed
2012 budget cuts would:
Slash the collections budget by 11%, which had already been cut in 2011,
a measure that will result in fewer copies of library materials, longer
wait times, reduced scope and currency of materials and gaps in some
collection areas. Combined, this will have the effect of undermining
the TPL's record of success as the most used public library system in
Cut 163 frontline librarians and other staff at a cost of up to $6
million, which would dramatically reduce customer service levels
Attacks open hours in neighbourhood libraries, which is tantamount to a
Increase user charges and activity fees
Library closings still remain in play in another efficiency report by
DPRA Consultants which has yet to be delivered
"Unlike the Chief of Police and the Chief General Manager of the TTC,
who have defended the public interest served by their agencies, the
Library's chief bureaucrat is doing the Mayor's dirty work, especially
by describing these cuts as 'minor service reductions'" said O'Reilly.
"This plan which would have such dire consequences for library users
will save residents only 2.5 cents a day. At a time when library usage
has never been higher, this plan to cut services makes no sense and
would save Torontonians only 2.5 cents a day," said O'Reilly.
"This budget just further exposes the mayor's duplicity during his
election campaign when he made promises to Torontonians about no cuts
to services or layoffs."
The library budget proposal notes that usage is up substantially during
the past decade while staffing has been reduced since 1998 by almost
10%. Cuts proposed by library bureaucrats for 2012 would reduce
frontline staff by a further 9%.
SOURCE Toronto Public Library Workers Union
For further information:
Maureen O'Reilly 647-206-7457
Jim Thompson 613-447-9592