Quarterly Libraries Tasmania and CPSU Meeting debrief

Delegates David Bloomfield and Hannah Glowacka, and me, your CPSU organiser Michael McLoughlin, met with Sue McKerracher (Executive Director) and Natalie Brown (Director Library Network) for our Quarterly Libraries Tasmania and CPSU Meeting.

As part of the new strategic directions for Libraries Tasmania there has been a commitment to address long-term workforce planning issues through cadetships and career pathways. With many of our trained and very skilled librarians being close to retirement, we run the risk of losing a wealth of skills and knowledge in Libraries. It is good to see Libraries has also identified this as a problem.

Creating future workforce planning and possibilities for life-long careers in the State Service is a huge plank of our PSUWA 2022 campaign, called Unlocking Public Sector Skills. Securing these changes from the State Service Management Office and Government will require us all standing together. If you’d like to get more involved in winning these changes, as well as a pay rise above inflation, get in touch with me!

Libraries have also asked for union members’ support with their Tasmania Reads program. It’s a program that aims to bring the joy of storytelling, books, and reading to all Tasmanians. The CPSU is committed to these goals through our very own member book club. If you’d like to read books with your fellow union members, join the CPSU book club here! Laurel and I are the hosts and it’s a lot of fun.

Regarding risk management plans and COVID response updates we asked Libraries to continue to engage in consultation with workers, and to include Health and Safety Representatives in any policy or procedural changes related to Work Health and Safety. If you don’t have a HSR in your worksite, we should run an election! Get in touch with me for more information.

We spoke at length about Band 1 Customer Service Officer positions. Libraries Tasmania have conceded that CSOs are engaging in higher duties. They have committed to reviewing these positions. I have a little concern that the review will identify some positions that should be reclassified at Band 2 and force people to reapply for their positions. And I’m worried that others will be made to act at Band 1 (i.e. under constant instruction and supervision) by remove duties from them, and increasing the workload of Library Service Officers who will pick up the slack. If you haven’t joined our Band 1 Reclassification campaign, get on board now so we can end up with the best outcomes in the process. Contact me for more info.

Concerns around inadequate training for interview panel members were also put forward, with a commitment from Libraries to review policy around criteria for those involved in interview panels. We also spoke about the ability for part-time permanent workers to take on additional permanent hours, and the roadblocks that exist to provisioning that. Once again, CPSU members are seeking to make it easier for people to take on additional permanent hours as part of our collective bargaining. We’ll only win these changes through union action, so encourage your co-workers to join at www.cpsu.com.au/join and get involved!

We’ll all meet again in August, and I encourage anyone who is interested to join us next time!

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