Toronto Public Library Workers Union


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The 2016 Library Budget and Impact on Negotiations

At the Special City Council meeting on February 17, 2016 the City of Toronto approved the Library budget of approximately $175.9 million dollars.  This represents a 1.6% increase plus enhancements of $0.958 million representing a 0.5% increase which supports Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy for a total of a 2.1% increase overall.

Clue No. 1

The budget as submitted from the Library Board included a reduction of 6.9FTEs in the page classification as an “efficiency expenditure reduction”.  The budget also included the creation of 5 permanent FTEs in E-Services. (previously grant funded)

The Poverty Reduction enhancements include the following:

·        Sunday open hours - 1 full year at 8 branches - commence July & August

North York Central Library, Toronto Reference Library, Albion, Cedarbrae, Lillian H Smith, Malvern, Northern District, Richview                         

·        Sunday open hours – 6 new locations – commence September

Bridlewood, Centennial, Runnymede, Fort York, Mount Dennis, Scarborough Town Centre

·        Youth Hub expansion (2 FTEs new)

Maria A. Shuchuka, Fairview

·        Internet Wi-Fi hotspot lending

·        Malvern Digital Innovation Hub (1 FTE new)

Overall, this netted out to a 1.1 FTE increase to the compliment.  This will put an enormous pressure on the library to fund future Sunday service and pressure at the bargaining table to find a solution.

Clue No. 2

However, an additional motion put forward by the City will reduce the Operating Budget for all City Agencies* by a total of $1.249 million with savings to be realized from a spending freeze on discretionary expenditures.  (*excluding Police and TTC who were included in a separate motion) also passed.

This means the Library budget will be cut but at this time the amount is unknown.  This also means that cuts to the library budget directly are hidden by the Tory administration with this sleight of hand.  Obviously lessons were learned under the Fords.  This also means that the library is funding its own growth in services by cutting staff in one area to support staff in another area.  Again this is being done in the absence of a staffing model.

A motion by Councillor Stephen Holyday to collect library fines on the property tax assessment, another old Ford motion, was defeated.

Clue No. 3

Several motions by Councillor Michael Thompson to cut the police services budget failed.  Some of the savings realized here would have gone to fund the library.  Mayor Tory voted against all of Thompson’s motions.

Clue No. 4

Councillor Mike Layton certainly put forward an interesting motion:

That City Council request the TPLB to request the City Librarian, in consultation with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Human Rights, to report to the Library Board on a staffing and service delivery mode that meets the service levels outline in the Strategic Plan, including using a Job Quality Assessment Tool.

Presumably this motion will examine if an adequate staffing model is in place and secondly will determine why the Library has a 50% part-time level when the rest of the city is far below that.

The motion was defeated by the Budget Committee when it was first presented. The majority of the Budget Committee is stacked by Tory’s cronies. The defeat that the motion would not go forward to the Executive Committee chaired by Tory. However, it did come back around at the Special City Council meeting.

So Who Voted Against It?

John Burnside, John Campbell, Christin Carmichael Greb, Gary Crawford, Justin J. Di Ciano, Stephen Holiday, Giorgio Mammoliti, DENZIL MINNAN-WONG, Ron Moeser, Frances Nunziata, Jaye Robinson and JOHN TORY.


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