Support for library frontline staff

The staff at the library branches are always courteous, friendly and helpful.

To the editor:

I don’t have a library card because I buy my own books and magazine subscriptions. I then recycle these books and magazines to organizations in need.

I do, however, attend the library frequently to browse around, to sit and enjoy some great reads in a quiet, inviting atmosphere. The staff at the library branches are always courteous, friendly and helpful.

The library budget is $15 million. A pay increase of five per cent over three years does not sound extreme or greedy.

Come on now, an increase to benefits that have not been improved for the last 20 years is draconian.

And I must say, sounds even covetous and absurd.

Regarding the paragraph in the story (Capital News, May 22)  that states from the library’s perspective: “We feel our wage and benefits packages are fair, and this is evidenced by the extremely low turnover we have amongst ORL staff,” a statement quoted to an Okanagan Regional Library news release.

What does this have to do with salary and benefits negotiations? It is my experience that when the management team in companies or institutions receive an increase in wages and benefits, the criteria is not based on length of employment.

There is no mention of salary or benefit increases to ORL management personnel in the story, either.

I do believe that the library front-end personnel are trying to do their jobs and not let the negotiations affect their service to the public. I believe that residents of Kelowna should be aware of all the facts and figures. Our libraries in Kelowna are public libraries.

When front-line personnel of the library, or any company, buy groceries, a quart of milk or loaf of bread costs the same to them as it does for a CEO.

And let’s be factual here, the CEO makes more money than front-end personnel.

I feel the library staff need to be commended for dealing with the public. That is not always easy.

With a $15-million budget, I feel the ORL needs to step up to the plate and be fair with library front-end personnel.

Ann Champagne,

Kelowna

Kelowna Capital News