Thursday, 11 March 2010

Save Bristol's Libraries

The Bristol Branch of the IWW trade union is calling for strong and decisive action from other unions to stop brutal cuts wrecking Bristol's library service as the IWW today launch their own campaign against the cuts.

Bristol's library service, run by Bristol City Council, is looking to cut £225,000 from the libraries budget this year, largely by axing nine staff across the service. This is despite the libraries budget being underspent by £181,000 last year.

Most of these cuts will be made at the city's flagship Central Library where staff say users may have to wait two hours or more to obtain books and information from a slimmed down and understaffed reference library.

The council is also proposing to spend over £0.5m providing 'self-service' facilities at libraries and will then only provide one supervisor for every two branch libraries in the city.

IWW spokesman Frank Hutchison says,"Bristol City Council have promised there would be no cuts to frontline services. They lied.

"Libraries are among our most important and much-loved public services but here in Bristol the service is being systematically destroyed to save money.

"Meanwhile, despite the huge public outcry and concern, the traditional trade unions are sitting on their hands and failing to act."

"If they won't, we will. These unions are not only letting down their members but the wider community too."

"We will therefore be holding a public meeting in the near future to bring together library staff, concerned service users, other workers worried about the threat of cuts to public services in the city and the wider public."

The IWW says it will be fully committed to any campaign that's launched as a result of this meeting and will look to resource and fund that campaign as best it can.

"Doing nothing - or worse, doing a backroom deal to sell our library service down the river - is not an option," said Mr Hutchison.

1 comment:

  1. I can assure you that the traditional unions are not "sitting on their hands". The steward at the central library, Rebecca Amiel is fighting this attempt to cut jobs with the full support of Bristol Unison and of the local stewards. Frank Hutchinson and IWW would do well to support her instead of undermining other trade unionists in the city council.