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Subject: Labor relations. Our cities' public libraries.
From: Don Saklad <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 16 Jan 2005 19:12:54 -0500

text/plain (55 lines)

empowering everybody in the workplace, in the lib is a matter of
making a bit of a study of labor relations. an interest in labor
relations empowers as well the spouses, friends, families of library
workers and even library users. our cities' public libraries have a
history of being identified with the authoritarian managerial

then where prejudices would be a part of the institutional setting it
affects everybody including people who fear that they can be targeted
for their personal lives.

boston public library is a model of a bad example. the lib has if not
the oldest, one of the oldest of our cities' public libraries'
professional associations. how as a collective bargaining union it
fails or succeeds is worthy of the interest for anybody who would see
improvement, change in the lib as a workplace.


before the current american library association executive director got
that role and was at that time director of our board of library
commissioners the word was that taking an interest in labor relations
could be a disservice to one's own interest in improving, changing the
lib as an institution.


post postscriptum
at a massachusetts state labor relations hearing a lesbian BPLer's
union took up the issue of having taken an afternoon medical leave
when her lesbian supervisor refused to approve the afternoon urgent
dental appointment. it could be argued that the case had overtones of
the kind of a self hatred internalized homophobia expressed outwardly
toward staff. the supervising BPLer got the supervised BPLer fired.

during the time of many such incidents the head of personnel created
the threatening institutinal atmosphere overall. for example, she
conducted the exit interviews in the lavatory for her female staff who
left the lib for careers elsewhere. in turn she also got attacked,
accused by union advocates of being lesbian.

Turnover rate at our cites' public libraries is worthy of study in
that regard.

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