Saturday, March 14, 2015

Library Board Chair Charles Fegan Says Library Cut is 8%

At the Library Board meeting Wednesday, March 11, 2015, Library Board Chair Charles Fegan said that the cut to the library budget is 8%.  He stated that this is a very big cut and will make it very difficult for the library to continue to provide services to the community. 

Jennifer McCullough, President of the Fairfax County Public Library Employees Association presented a statement regarding the cuts of 27 to 28 part time circulation aide positions.  She stated that the FCPLEA Board urged the Library Board to press the Board of Supervisors to restore the library budget, retain the vacant circulation aide positions and allow them to be filled.  

She also stated that the cut was too much and does not match supervisor priorities for a vibrant economy with a quality education system and recreational and cultural opportunities. 

Further she stated, "Some have argued that the fact that branches have managed to function for so long without filling these vacancies justifies leaving them unfilled. That is a gross misrepresentation of the reality of the conditions that staff work under. Every pay period, branch and circulation managers send out multiple pleas for overtime help to allow their branches to function. Many branches are stretched to the breaking point, with worn down and overworked staff. This is no way for a library system to run. Staff have been denied leave time; some branches are in a panic when a staff member calls in sick; and many staff work through their breaks to lessen the impact of vacancies. They are told they cannot attend system meetings or training because the schedule is too tight.  It is unfair to our hard-working staff to permit these intolerable working conditions to continue. Ultimately it erodes library service to the people of Fairfax and will prevent the county and the library from achieving its strategic goals.

"FCPL employees value excellence. We want to provide the best service we can to our patrons. We cannot do this if we are in a state of continual decline. The system cannot sustain the blow that the permanent loss of these Library Aide positions would cause."

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