TORONTO, Nov. 3, 2011 /CNW/ - The offer to organize public consultations
with their constituents about cuts to the Toronto Public Library has
been taken up by a shamefully small number of City Councillors,
according to the Toronto Public Library Workers Union.
Only 9 of the City's 44 representatives on Council have scheduled public
meetings in their wards as part of the city-wide consultation sponsored
by the Toronto Public Library.
"We're disappointed that only a handful of Councillors seem to be
interested in hearing from their constituents about one of the best
used and most loved services provided by the City. Before the vote on
the Toronto Public Library budget, all Councillors should create a
forum where they can hear directly from their constituents about this
important issue," said TPLWU President Maureen O'Reilly.
Only two of the five Councillors on the Toronto Public Library Board are
currently scheduled to attend consultations about the Toronto Public
Library in their wards. And, not a single member of Mayor Ford's
hand-picked Executive Committee is participating.
"Why are members like Councillors Robinson and Palacio, who are members
of both the Library Board and the Executive Committee, not offering
their constituents a chance to be heard about our public library? I
would have thought that the chair of the Budget Committee, Mike Del
Grande would have been interested in his constituents' opinions,"
Over the past 48 hours thousands of Torontonians have urged the Toronto
Public Library Board to reject cuts to our public library, including
those endorsed at the first meeting of the Board since its membership
was overhauled with Mayor Ford's appointees. On October 21st, the Board endorsed a proposal to cut 100 librarians and library staff
even though staffing has already been cut by 10 percent while usage
over the last decade has gone up by 29 percent.
In an apparent change of heart, the influential Budget Committee of the
Library Board voted earlier this week to reject branch closures and
huge cuts to hours of operation of neighbourhood branches, proposals
made to achieve the 10% cuts to the Library's budget demanded by Mayor
"The members of the Budget Committee, including Councillor Ainslie, are
to be congratulated. Obviously, they have listened and responded to
Toronto residents who do not want to see their public library system
diminished in any way," O'Reilly said.
SOURCE Toronto Public Library Workers Union
For further information:
Jim Thompson 613-447-9592