Library staff left in the dark over controversial shake-up, claims union

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LIBRARY chiefs have been accused of ignoring staff concerns about controversial plans for a community hub.

The ground floor of William Patrick Library, in Kirkintilloch, is currently closed for 12 weeks while it is turned into a new community hub - offering a range of council services alongside the traditional lending library.

Jim Burnett, convener of UNISON’s East Dunbartonshire branch, says his members were assured by the council and East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture Trust (EDLCT) that they would have input into the plans.

But he claims the union has been left “angry and disappointed” at the lack of consultation.

However, culture and leisure trust general manager Mark Grant says employees have been consulted on a regular basis about the plans.

Union official Jim Burnett said: “Although aware of the proposals to change the service, we are appalled at the manner in which front line staff have been overlooked.

“This is despite constant reassurances that staff would be fully consulted and their views taken into account.

“Only through recent meetings with our members has it become abundantly clear that, not only have front line staff had no direct input to the plans, but even more concerning issues raised over potential operational difficulties have, to date, fallen on deaf ears.”

The union official said he was seeking an urgent meeting with EDLCT’s general manager.

Meanwhile, Campsie and Kirkintilloch North councillor Charles Kennedy has also hit out at the lack of consultation, and whether the plans are in-keeping with the library’s core lending functions.

Mark Grant, general manager of East Dunbartonshire Culture and Leisure Trust, said: “Employees have regularly been consulted regarding the plans for the Kirkintilloch Community Hub and William Patrick Library.

“Management have met with Unison and have provided evidence to them of regular meetings with Library employees regarding the new design and layout of the ground floor of William Patrick Library.

“As a result of the input from the library employees a number of changes have been incorporated into the plans.

“Operational arrangements are currently being considered and employees will be given the opportunity to take part in these discussions.”

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