CUPE Suggests Thunder Bay City Council Review Obligations under Library Act

Thunder Bay Public Library
Thunder Bay Public Library

THUNDER BAY – Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3120 encourages all members of Thunder Bay City Council to review its obligations under the Ontario Public Library Act,

R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER P.44   The Ontario Public Libraries Act specifies that library boards are to function as independent entities, hiring their own chief executive officers— individuals who specifically do not answer to a municipality. By default, this reporting structure extends to employees of the public library, who ultimately report to the CEO and not the municipality.

“The Ontario Library Service – North has created a plain language and illustrated handbook entitled 2018 Municipal Councillors Handbook Public Library Handbook. It would be ideal for this council to review their role in public library administration before the province steps in and reconsiders the Thunder Bay’s Public Library (TBPL) Operating Grant (PLOG). Libraries are already pressured by the current provincial government.

Then more recently, by the municipal budget. Demonstrating unfamiliarity with the municipal role in library administration could further jeopardize libraries in the city,” says CUPE 3120 President Margaret Demillo. “The recent resolution of March 4 2020, put forth by Councillor Giertuga, is either an indication of his misunderstanding of public libraries or maybe more personal regarding unions’ right to protest political decisions. Or perhaps he takes issue with the library board and management supporting the union’s stance that cutting the budget is harmful to the community. CUPE 3120 is hopeful that the TBPL Board will reply only as it should to the municipality.”

CUPE Local 3120 represents over 75 library workers and remains committed to protecting libraries and library workers.