CUPE Saskatchewan held a rally outside of City Hall Monday afternoon, voicing concern that more staff could be laid off at Saskatoon Public Library locations.
Yvonne Siermacheski with CUPE 2669 Library Workers says 23 staff have already been laid off this year as Saskatoon Public Library restructures their organization. Siermacheski says many of the staff at the library are being forced to re-apply for their jobs and go through the interview process before they can be hired again. She says they are anticipating more cuts in 2018 with a tough budget for next year expected by the 270 unionized staff. Siermacheski says libraries nowadays are for more than just reading books now providing free programming for adults and children, and by cutting staff, there are fewer people to serve the elderly, marginalized people or homeless people that need a place to go. After the rally, the group continued into council chambers where SPL CEO Carol Cooley was presenting to a city committee on a new central public library. One man asked her about the layoffs, but was quickly told by Mayor Charlie Clark not to interrupt.