Union releases details of its library plan

A union bid to run all 15 library branches in Jackson County trims $1 million from the budget, though the offer doesn't include maintenance or utility costs.

The Service Employees International Union, Local 503, which is affiliated with the Jackson County Employees Association, released a copy of its proposal to the county today.

"We would hate to see it languishing in some filing cabinet in (County Administrator) Danny Jordan's office," said John Mulvey, political organizer for the union.

County officials declined last week to release a copy of the union proposal or one they received from a company that operates libraries across the country.

The union plan offers three options for opening libraries. One would open all branches at an annual cost of about $7.5 million. It would reduce library staff from 115 full- and part-time employees to 100.

Another option proposes opening just five branches at a cost of $6.8 million. The third lists options for operating branches individually.

Jackson County's libraries closed April 6 due to budget problems. If they had remained open, the budget to provide the same level of services would have been $8.5 million annually.

— Damian Mann
Details: Tuesday's Mail Tribune

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