Greens have today called on the Council and Library Assistants to work together to resolve dispute over shift patterns, after Library Assistants announced their intention to strike. In last year’s city-wide consultation, the public fed back they wanted library opening times to change. This has led to changes in shift patterns for Library Assistants.
Leader of the Green Councillors, Ani Stafford-Townsend said:
“We have sympathy with Library Assistants and support their right to strike. Staff have had to deal with changes to their shift patterns as a result of cuts imposed by central government. Greens are keen to listen to ideas from the Union on how the dispute can be resolved in light of the results from the public consultation."
Since 2014 the Council has carried out a series of consultations with the public on the future of the library service. Early last year, proposals were put forward to close seven libraries, but this was reduced to one library re-location after dialogue with local communities.
Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods, with the portfolio for Libraries, Fi Hance said:
“Every staff member has been consulted over a ten and a half week period with attempts made to fit in to their individual circumstances, for example caring responsibilities and other crucial commitments. We are keen to resolve this dispute by both supporting library staff through these changes and accommodating their concerns wherever possible.”
Green councillor, Jerome Thomas who campaigned to keep Clifton Library open said:
“Libraries across the country are closing down so we are pleased that the hard work of local communities across the city has paid off saving all Bristol’s libraries. We now need to work together to resolve this dispute and continue to develop Bristol’s libraries as thriving centres of our communities.”
Image: By ParentingPatch (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Across the UK, libraries have lost a quarter of their staff and 343 libraries have closed over that last six years: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35707956