March 17th Update and Meeting Change

Hello everyone,

With the change in work hours, we will be available from 7 pm to 9 pm for questions instead of the regular meeting time in the new office.

The union office is located at 5699 176 Street.

If you are sick, please stay home and email any questions to

Please pass along this email to any of our members.

In Solidarity,

A new page is added to the system sub-site of surrey library citynet.

Title: Message From Chief Librarian – March 17, 2020


Created By: Seline Kutan

Created Date: 2020-03-17 4:00:14 PM

News Content:

Hello Everyone,

Thank you for coping and working together during this challenging time.  Here are some updates and answers to questions you’ve sent. As the week evolves, information may change so continue to check your emails daily while you are in the branch or from home. If you do not have email access from home, let your manager know and make alternate arrangements to be notified of updates.

1.     How can I stay informed?

Please read emails regularly. Daily operations managers meetings have been established via teleconference. The union executive will be joining these meetings tomorrow. Decisions are made with the best current information available; however, may change very quickly as the situation evolves.

That is why we are urging you to be proactive and diligent in reading email updates, and communicating with your managers or union exec. Make sure your contact information is updated in PeopleSoft, and in your branch contact lists so we have your current information to reach you.

Managers please establish an area in branch where all updates are printed for staff to refer to.

2.     Can you clarify how staff will be paid?

All staff – including regular full-time, part-time, casuals, casuals in temporary positions, and clerks will be paid for scheduled shifts until further notice. The Library is aligned with the City in this practice. The City must analyze the financial and operational impacts of its closures and form a longer-term position. We will communicate this to you as soon as we have this certainty. We expect this to occur in the coming days.

Staff are expected to continue to report to work for their scheduled shifts until further notice. Shifts may be switched to the day shift – please arrange with your managers.

If staff choose / select to not report for their scheduled shift and there is work for them, staff will not be paid for that time.

These are difficult times for everyone and we appreciate your patience as we work through what is a rapidly evolving situation.

3.     Can I cancel my VL?

We are working on this. While we always try to be flexible for our staff we want to provide a consistent way of handling these requests for overall fairness, considering things like whether coverage was already arranged, importance of the role/individual being at work, advance notice of the requested change, length of leave, etc.  Additionally, there could be a challenge if everyone cancels now and takes VL when we reopen, we may not have enough staff/coverage to schedule all the days off in future.

4.     Will you be canceling casual shifts?

At this time, all scheduled shifts will continue during the closure until further notice.

5.     Will I be expected to attend meetings?

Large meetings will be moved to online/telephone where possible, or cancelled where not. Practice social distancing for any in person meetings.

6.     Self-Isolation reminder: If you have been out of the country and return after March 12, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Staff in self-isolation continue to be paid and may be able to work from home. Please alert your manager.

7.     Why are staff being asked to work?

The situation is very fluid and we are working closely with the City and with direction from public health. Please continue to check your emails daily. While at work we ask you to continue practicing social distancing measures such as:

  •  Keep 1 meter & a half away from each other while working
  • Shared Food – Please don’t bring in food to share
  • Keyboards/Mice / Staff Phones – Wipe down all computer keyboards / mice before using (staff are touching them too)
  • Wear gloves if hands are getting irritated from continuous washing, but don’t touch face
  • Washing Hands – When you wash your hands, wash them in bathroom, not the kitchen
  • Taking breaks – with maximum staff coming in at the same time, scatter breaks, limit of 2-3 staff in staff room, depending on size of staff room, have your break out in the public areas
  • Workspace Offices can be very small – maximize distance between staff, use laptops
  • Circ. rooms are small – maximize distance between staff, alter tasks so few staff are in the back room

We’re monitoring the City’s and the Province’s approach and direction and will change course as needed or directed.