The union representing the Newfoundland and Labrador’s library workers says the latest developments in the Ed Martin severance deal are dramatic proof that closing 54 libraries had no basis in economics. CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, “First we learn, that the $1.4 million in severance was more money than the actual savings from the library closures. Then this week we find out from Mr. Martin that the premier himself was directly involved in the deal that saw him leave gracefully, provided government would pay him his severance – even though he wasn’t supposed to get it if he retired voluntarily.”
CUPE Local 2329 President Dawn Lahey says, “I would like the premier, as well as his Education Minister, Dale Kirby, to explain to the communities who will be losing their cherished libraries, as well as the mostly female workforce who will be losing their jobs, how they can now justify these brutal closures.
“Dale Kirby has gone on record as stating that there is not much they can do because the decision to close down 54 libraries was made by the board of directors. As a library worker with 35 years’ experience, I would have to put that right in the Fiction section along with the yarn they are spinning on the Martin severance deal. “The people of Newfoundland and Labrador are simply not buying these falsehoods and misrepresentations any longer. Minister Kirby needs to reverse this decision to close half the province’s libraries,” says Lahey.