Auckland Libraries to cut 74 jobs in 'Fit for the Future' restructure video

The restructure has been brewing since October last year.

The restructure has been brewing since October last year.

More than 70 Auckland Libraries staff will lose their jobs in what is a precursor to more major changes, a public service union says.

In October the Auckland Council run organisation announced it was consulting with staff as it looked to reallocate its resources to prepare for a digitally focused future.

On Wednesday Auckland Libraries confirmed it had accepted voluntary redundancy from 74 casual, part-time and full time staff.

Devonport Library is one of 55 libraries in the region run by Auckland Council.

Devonport Library is one of 55 libraries in the region run by Auckland Council.

In total it received 104 voluntary redundancy applications.

Auckland libraries face cost-cuts in plans to future-proof services
Staff at Auckland Libraries receive documents on proposed change
Consultation period for Auckland Libraries staff now closed

On January 25 staff received documents on proposed changes to work conditions. Staff were given until mid-February to provide feedback.

Auckland Libraries manager Mirla Edmundson said letters were sent on Tuesday to the 104 staff who applied for voluntary redundancy to advise them of the outcome of their applications.

Edmundson said the 74 redundancies equated to 48 full time equivalent staff in a department which currently has 767 full time roles across the region.

Staff will be leaving their roles between now and June 30.

Public Service Association national secretary Glenn Barclay said a final outcome of the restructure was expected in early April.

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"The consultation process around voluntary redundancies is unfortunately likely to be just a precursor to more major changes," Barclay said. 

He said it was distressing that so many staff had accepted voluntary redundancies, and was perhaps indicative of the extent and impact of the council's overall restructuring plans.

"Which we are yet to fully see," he said. 

"We recognise that libraries are changing given the rise of digital technology, and that the role of librarians is changing with them. However, they arguably now serve an even more important role in facilitating access to the digital world and acting as cultural hubs within the wider community."

Edmundson said Auckland Libraries was progressing with its Fit for the Future programme designed to ensure that it responded to the changing needs of customers, and made better use of resources across the region.

"No libraries will close and there will be no reduction in library hours," she said.

"What will change is a move to a more digital-led way of working and our ability to adapt to the technology needs of our customers and the demands for both print and digital services."

Auckland Council runs 55 libraries in the region employing about 1000 staff.

 - Stuff


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