Funding cutbacks have library employees in a tough spot

Duncan – Re: cutbacks at Cowichan branch of Vancouver Island Regional Library, starting July 1. Did you know that our tax dollars are being used to improve library services in 14 other B.C. communities? VIRL recently announced that the Cowichan branch and five others will be losing three hours of operation per week so that hours can be increased in other locations (13 hours’ increase in Sandspit and Woss, eight at Cortes Island, Port Alice and Tahsis, for example).

At first glance it looks like the familiar grocery store ploy of “pay the same amount but the package is smaller”, but is it even legal for our tax money to be spent elsewhere?

It shouldn’t be. As if this were not bad enough, the restructuring to implement this plan is a disaster for the employees affected by the cut-backs. A reduction of three hours of operation per week should not be hard to organize with minimal impact on the staff, but I’ve been told that some employees’ hours have been cut to just below the number needed for them to receive benefits, and their hours are not consistent from week to week, meaning they are unable to take a second job.

So the employees can’t make a living wage at the library, are unable to supplement those wages with a second job, they will have to resign, and the library board can then hire new workers, likely at a lower rate of pay.

A cynic would say this is what the VIRL board intended all along. I’ve always found the library staff efficient and helpful, and they deserve better treatment than this.

Eleanor Montour


Just Posted

Hometown Hockey visits the home of the Big Stick

Cowichan hosts Rogers broadcast and accompanying festival

North Cowichan raising stink over foul odours

Smell from Chemainus facility an issue for years

Find Your Fit at WorkBC tour in Duncan Jan. 23

Event to be held at Cowichan Secondary School

Cowichan wrestling camp kicks off New Year

Camp attracts wrestlers from Valley, Victoria and Mainland

VIDEO: It’s Hometown Hockey time in Cowichan!

See our videos and pictures by our reporters from the big event at The Stick.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Road conditions wreak havoc for Comox Valley drivers

Icy road conditions early Monday morning kept first responders very busy throughout… Continue reading

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Most Read