After an unduly protracted wait, we in Sooke finally have a new library facility. The vastly increased catalogue, new services and increased hours are a boon to anyone who seeks information, entertainment or enlightenment beyond the lame-brained offerings of television or social media.
The library is a godsend for many and is funded by all property taxpayers, whether they are users or not.
This is why CUPE members’ petulant, misguided and selfish actions, comprising library assistants who force library closures (on April 5 here and at other VIRL locations), are altogether saddening, angering counterproductive.
They claim they are striking in support of librarians proper, who have been without a contract since 2019. No one will deny the librarians have the right to, and deserve, a legal contract; that they have been denied one is a gross violation on VIRL’s part.
The librarians I have encountered have been uniformly well-informed, polite and helpful beyond the call. They are not CUPE members. The librarians’ contractual dispute does not involve CUPE; however, this union has decided it has the right to arbitrarily close publicly funded facilities, like this library, once again using taxpayers as a pawn in their arrogant belief that they have some stake in the matter. Library assistants have, en masse, gone along with this self-centred and childish delusion.
So again, libraries will be closed, not because of COVID, but rather due to CUPE’s intrusive contempt for the public and its membership.
That library assistants’ empathy for their librarian colleagues is understandable enough; penalizing the public is not the solution and is not their business anyway.