‘It is important that all Bradford citizens continue to have quality library services available,’ says former library board member
Letter to the Editor
September 19, 2023
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Our family has lived in Bradford for over 49 years. Our children had the comfort and security of growing up in a small town.
However, Bradford West Gwillimbury is no longer a small town. With the library evolving from the very small premises on John Street to the present impressive structure now occupied by the library, we have seen and been a part of this growth.
One of our daughters worked there as a page and I was a Library Board member for 11 years as well as a member of the Friends of the Library.
Our library staff members have always been friendly, supportive, and welcomed all of our patrons. We had many letters thanking us for our services. However, over the past four to five years, things started to change.
When a workplace loses approximately 50% of its staff, Council should take notice. When workers choose to unionize, you should ask why.
Happy, satisfied workers do not choose that option. It is apparent that something is wrong. I find that having the library staff on strike is beyond troubling.
Why was the previous Library Board dissolved? There was no public report for that being done.
A library is the most used service in any town, not the hockey rinks, not the baseball diamonds, not the soccer fields.
I was once in a convenience store when a stranger passing through town and looking for information came in to ask where the library was located.
From childhood to long-term care, libraries fill many needs.
Contrary to what some may think and say, libraries are not irrelevant and will not be replaced by the internet. Also, not everyone has a computer at home or a space to do research and complete projects. High school students use the library daily.
I understand that Council is considering going to arbitration, a very unusual action when dealing with a first contract.
What the workers are asking for is not unreasonable. I know that there are three sides to every story – why not meet in the middle?
Councillors, have you taken a look at what we pay the Library CEO? Also all of the upper levels of Town staff plus their benefits and bonuses?
Please do not try to tell me the total amount over a year at $1.35 per hour plus some benefits is too much. Maybe too little.
Please show some respect for our library staff and please settle this strike soon.
As a child, the local library was my happy place and it was free. It is important that all Bradford citizens continue to have quality library services available.