Archive for LG Updates

LG Members at AFSCME International Conference in Chicago

Convention Floor 2014A team of elected delegates, alternates and guests from the Librarians’ Guild are participating in this week’s AFSCME International Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Some great resolutions have been introduced on the convention floor which deal with topics such as the student debt crisis; the lack of transparency of governments handing out corporate welfare subsidies to businesses; and (importantly) a resolution to consider access to libraries a human right.

Moving on, our membership ranks have increased: In January, AFSCME challenged its members to increase the international union’s membership by at least 50,000 new members in time for the Convention. This challenge was a response to the successful assault in Wisconsin and Michigan on worker’s rights to collectively bargain and unionize. Well, good news to report: New membership increased by over 92,000 members!

At the conference we have networked and participated in some great conversations with fellow AFSCME members around the country. Unfortunately, we are hearing about major problems and attacks on their unions, on the services they provide, and IN LIBRARIES how staffing levels are far below safety and service numbers, just like LAPL.

In Tacoma, WA, library branches have actually been closed, willingly and almost enthusiastically, by cityLee Saunders LG 2014 leaders due to low staffing levels. In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel (who public workers here call “Emperor Rahm”) laid off all of Chicago Public Libary’s MCs. Yes, you read that right. Only a serious grass-roots community effort forced the Emperor to hire them back. By the way, Rahm is a Democrat who used to be President Obama’s Chief of Staff…

On an entirely different note, there are thousands of  delegates and other participants at the conference, and everyone marched this Wednesday in support of exploited Chicago taxi drivers. Due to aggressive policies by Emperor Rahm, most registered cabbies only Henry Chicago 2014 marchreceive about 20k/year — a figure which would put a family of four below the poverty line. Even worse, they have been subjected to new Rahm taxes, regulation and tickets on their profession, reducing their take home pay even further.

The march was loud and fun and covered in the local news. Over 1000 cabbies have signed union membership cards with AFSCME, and the union has pledged to back them up and fight the Mayor’s promotion of unlicensed ride-sharing services which amount to unlicensed and uninsured cab drivers.

That’s it for now. We will share more in future.



LG Update: December 2013

Prepared by Roy Stone and Henry Gambill

Printable PDF of this Update


By now you should be aware that the Librarians’ Guild and Management have agreed to the following terms about December 24th:

(1) All branches and Central Library will be open to the public 10:00-1:00.

(2) Staff wishing to leave at 1:10 can make up the time during that week or use VC.

(3) Staff who want to work an 8-hour day on Christmas Eve can remain in their agency under the following circumstances: (a) there are at least two employees wishing to remain, and (b) one of these employees is a librarian.  Otherwise they must work at another agency that does have the appropriate staffing.


Due to a water main problem on October 29, management was compelled to shut Central Library at 4:00p.m. However, staff members were not given the usual choice to be redeployed to another agency. Instead, they were told to take VC, make up the time in the remaining four days of the pay period or request work furlough.  This didn’t sit very well with many of those affected and with the Guild or with the Clerical Union (Local 3090). The Guild is currently working on a group grievance to challenge management’s action and to be sure this does not happen again.

Note: when another water problem occurred, oddly enough, one week later, management, to its credit, did offer the staff the opportunity to complete the day’s shift at other locations, along with the other choices previously listed. At our urging, management has also collected requests for preferred reassignments, in the event a closure happens again.


The Guild’s #1 goal for 2013 was to press hard for management to recognize the importance of adding new full-time librarian positions, including allowing current half time librarians the opportunity to interview for full-time positions (and for full-time librarians to go half-time, if they so desired). We advocated for this to Management at every possible opportunity, at Library Board of Commissioners Meetings and at City Hall for most of this year. At last, our goal has been realized with the Fall transfer sheet and the recent new full-time hires! We will continue to advocate for appropriate staffing in the post-Measure L era.


We have communicated our serious concerns about library branches losing dedicated “roving” Security Service Officers (they were sent to Central Library due to a staffing shortage). Management has dedicated funds to hire more roving officers for branches in the upcoming library budget, but City Council and the Managed (un) Hiring Committee must ultimately grant approval. In the New Year, we will call on all of you to visit City Council chambers with us during budget hearings to make sure that the Councilmembers understand the importance of this hiring for all staff and library patrons.

Guild representatives on the joint Labor/Management Health and Safety Committee have received reports from about 10 branches with serious telephone problems, including not being able to transfer calls from the Circulation Desk to the Reference Desk, or not being able to call the workroom from the public desks. This is clearly a safety problem.

About a dozen branches reported that they had problems with patrons placing their used toilet paper on the restroom floors rather than flushing it down. As a result, these branches have received trashcans to place in the restroom stalls, and the problem has been resolved.


Contact Theresa Webster, the Guild’s Membership Chair, and she will update your contact information (so we can send you information, including union ballots) or provide you with the appropriate paperwork to renew your Guild Membership. She can be reached at

To update your email address, contact Henry Gambill, Executive Vice President, at


May 8th, 1985: Librarians (and Guild officers) Fontayne Holmes and Harriet Newton (front row, left to right) join Mayor Tom Bradley and others to celebrate a major victory for pay equity in the City of Los Angeles. Minutes LG Tom Bradleybefore, the Librarians’ Guild and Clerical Union signed a 3-year contract with significant salary adjustments for the two female dominated classifications. As Mayor Bradley announced, “”This is a historic step. Without a legal battle or costly study, we will achieve pay equity among men and women who work for this city. We will send a message to all cities across this country.”