Governance and Layoffs at Saskatoon Public Library

On May 30, 2017 the Saskatoon Public Library eliminated the jobs of 20 employees.  As some of these jobs were part time and job shares, the reduction in employees at the library results in the loss of 14 full time equivalent positions. The positions eliminated include:

  • Business Librarian
  • Information Services Coordinator
  • Fine Arts Coordinator
  • Fine Arts Film Specialist
  • Fine Arts Music Specialist
  • Legal Librarian
  • Literacy Librarian
  • Local History Coordinator
  • Music Cataloguer
  • 7 Paging Monitor Positions
  • 3 Public Service Clerk Positions
  • Young Adult Services Assistant

All of the employees who jobs were eliminated worked at the Frances Morrison Central Library, with the exception of the Music Cataloguer who worked in the Collection Services Department.

The employees whose jobs were eliminated received less than 1 day’s notice, 2 ¾ day’s notice and 3 day’s notice.

Depending on how long the employees had worked at the Saskatoon Public Library, they will receive no pay, 4 weeks’ pay, 6 weeks’ pay, or 8 weeks’ pay. No employees were offered early retirement packages or pay packages for the elimination of their jobs.

Many of the people whose jobs were eliminated had worked for the Saskatoon Public Library for a very long time, some for over 30 years. Some employees had recently moved to Saskatoon to begin work at the library.

The people whose jobs were eliminated were responsible for performing a wide range of work for the Saskatoon Public Library. Many of the librarians and specialists whose jobs were eliminated worked with community organizations and/or were responsible for ordering and maintaining collections at the library. The people who worked in the Public Services Clerk positions whose jobs were eliminated worked the Circulation Desk at the Frances Morrison Central Library. The people who worked in the Page Monitor positions that were eliminated worked receiving and sending out library materials requested through the province of Saskatchewan’s Integrated Library System (SILS).

In March, 2017 another Saskatoon Public Library Public Services Clerk position which was held by CUPE 2669’s then President was eliminated; 3 paging jobs in the Local History Department were also eliminated.

CUPE 2669 and the management of the Saskatoon Public Library are attempting to develop a fair and equitable process for the employees who have lost their jobs and are qualified to “bump” into jobs that remain at the library.

Saskatoon Public Library has continued to advertise and fill non-unionized managerial positions including 2 new branch managers and a Director of Human Resources who began working at the library within the past 3 months. In July, 2 additional new library branch manager positions were created.

Saskatoon Public Library’s budget was not reduced in 2017; funding for the provincial portion of the library’s budget was restored on April 24, 2017.

Provincial funding restored

The City of Saskatoon’s portion of the public library’s budget was also approved in a revised civic budget on April 24, 2017; funding to the public library was not cut.

Saskatoon Public Library’s CEO Carol Cooley has said the layoff of staff and the elimination of public library jobs they held are in preparation for the library’s 2018 budget and necessary to minimize the tax increase the library presents to City Council.

SPL CEO on elimination of jobs

The City of Saskatoon’s Mayor and City Council have said that the jobs held by City of Saskatoon employees will be maintained despite the $9 million budget shortfall the City faces from the cancellation of the Government of Saskatchewan’s grants-in-lieu payments.

Maintaining City of Saskatoon jobs