Heard about change at SPL? We're an open book.
A Message to the Community from the Saskatoon Public Library Board / March 14, 2018
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Facts about change at SPL
- Community-Led is a leading library service philosophy in North America, where community input informs decisions about services, programs and the collection. We would not consult on the day-to-day administration of the library.
- Approximately 40% of SPL’s employees are part of the restructuring. All of these employees were eligible for ongoing employment at SPL.
- All existing library departments (Local History, Outreach & Access Services, Children’s, Teen, etc.) will continue to serve you as you have come to expect. The budget for programming & services in these areas has increased in the 2018 budget. There will be no changes to SPL services until we can begin consulting the community in 2019. What we are changing is how we support these departments.
- After the change, there will be 25 full-time librarians (people with a Master’s of Library & Information Sciences degree) working at SPL—more than at any time in recent history.
- In the future, new employees to library service associate roles will be library technicians (professionals with a two-year diploma in library information technology). Currently, our existing employees will fill these roles. A comprehensive employer-funded training program will support existing employees who do not have the library technician qualification.
- While there are a few remaining appointments left to be made, of employees who accepted appointments in the new structure, 61% will experience a wage increase, 10% will experience no change in their wage, and 29% will experience a wage decrease.
- Employees who experience a net reduction in yearly pay due to a change in pay band and step as a result of the restructuring will receive pay at the rate of their current permanent position until July 15, 2021.
- Six full-time senior library service associate positions remain vacant because there were not enough fully qualified applicants to fill these roles. The union accepted a proposal to underfill these positions with existing SPL employees. As a result there will be additional opportunities for some employees to gain full-time status.
- The net increase in compensation for permanent unionized employees is $88,000 (though it will increase over the coming weeks once all appointments are finalized). A report that stated employee compensation was reduced by $680,000 was incorrect. The reduction represented a reduction in the use of temporary and casual labour.
- 79% of employees retained their previous full-time or part-time status, 9% increased to full-time status, and 6% of employees who didn’t hold permanent roles gained permanent part-time employment.
- Employees who did not retain their full-time status resulted from the union membership choosing to use seniority alone as the as the selection factor for qualified applicants in the restructuring process.
- SPL employees have not been asked to, and are not required to sign confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.
- The SPL Board and Library Administration have been and continue to remain open to hearing from residents about their concerns.
- The general level of knowledge across the library system will increase as more employees will have training in more aspects of the library collections and services. Specialized work will be performed by specialists.
- SPL’s new structure has been designed to remove the barriers to success our employees identified through consultation with them. We continue to make changes based on employee suggestions.
- Our new structure has a nearly identical mix of full and part-time positions and has the same number of full-time equivalent positions.
- Lack of adequate management support was identified as a barrier to success in the Service & Staffing review. SPL has a low number of managers relative to other comparable library systems in Canada.
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