Budget & Funding

Media Releases

SPL Requests 0% Increase for 2018 Budget / Nov 22, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Did SPL ask for a budget increase in 2018? (Updated: Mar 14, 2018)

No, SPL didn’t ask for an increase in the levy in 2018, meaning that there was no budget increase granted and thus no tax increase.

Is SPL reducing employee compensation in 2018? (Updated: Mar 14, 2018)

News media reported that SPL is reducing employee compensation (wages) by $700,000 in 2018. The number is accurate, but the full context was not made clear. SPL has 148.8 permanent full-time equivalent positions in the budget, but the total number of people who work at SPL in part-time and casual positions is closer to 300. The actual budget reduction is $680,100. 

There is not a $700,000 reduction in hours, salaries and benefits of the 148.8 permanent employees. We will achieve this reduction through scheduling efficiencies of non-permanent employees. SPL is making some incremental operating efficiencies concerning how we staff our service points in 2018. When you combine the incremental impact of these efficiencies across 14 service points, 334 days of operation and approximately 570 open hours per week, it adds up to a significant saving. Examples of incremental changes include a reduction of overtime, and not calling in additional employee to cover service points when someone calls in sick, has a meeting, or is on vacation if it is not operationally required. Past practice has been to call in casual employees or pay overtime to permanent employees to cover all of these absences, even when doing so is not operationally required. 

How much money does SPL need from City Council to make these changes? (Updated: Mar 14, 2018)

SPL doesn’t need any additional funding to be able to make this transition, and we didn’t request an increase to the levy (tax) in 2018.

Did the CEO receive a bonus in 2017? (Updated: Mar 14, 2018)

Ms. Cooley’s salary is the same for the period ending May 31, 2017, as it was for the period ending May 31, 2016. The Board included in the CEO contract a bonus structure, in which we can award a bonus of up to 8% of annual salary. The contract period is from June 1 – May 31 annually. For the contract period ending May 31, 2017, Ms. Cooley received a bonus of $1,300 (before tax).  In the period ending May 31, 2017, the Board determined the cash bonus did not reflect the merit of the work done over the prior year, and that providing funding for professional development would reflect the merits without additional monetary compensation. The executive training program referenced pertains to the professional development opportunity for the CEO. It is an executive leadership program at Queen’s University. The cost of the program is $9,900. There are no other SPL employees who are eligible for bonuses. Unionized employees at Saskatoon Public Library do receive professional development opportunities, and there is a significant investment in training and development for those employees in 2018.

Can the library run a budget deficit? (Updated: Mar 14, 2018)

No. The public library cannot run a deficit.

How can the library continue to upgrade facilities if it doesn’t have money to pay for employees? (Updated: Mar 14, 2018)

The library operating budget (where salaries are paid from) can only cover operating expenses. Funds saved and allocated to capital budgets are set out in bylaws and cannot be re-directed to operating expenses for things like salaries, collections, etc.

What is the library budget annually? (Updated: Mar 14, 2018)

The 2018 budget is: $24,069,400.

How is SPL funded? (Updated: Mar 14, 2018)

SPL receives approximately 97% of its funding from municipal taxpayers. The balance of 3% comes from the province. The funding for urban libraries (Regina and Saskatoon) is different than the regional library systems which rely more heavily on provincial funding. SPL has other small revenue sources including donations, fines, and the sale of items. However, none of these activities results in significant revenue generation. Revenue generation will be a focus of the library in coming years, but it will not come in the form of paid memberships to SPL.  

What is the status of the provincial consultations after the province restored the funding to public libraries? (Updated: Mar 14, 2018)

The provincial government announced a consultative review of libraries when they restored funding to libraries. At that time they indicated they would be reviewing the public library act. At this time that review has not begun. We do not have any details about this process.