Good News on the Library Funding: The Municipal Employees Association Does Not Support Library Cuts

by on May 11, 2021 · 0 comments

in Labor, Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Colleen O’Connor

Sometimes, I am happy to be wrong.  And this is one of those times.

In my article, “Save the Libraries: Throw Books at the Mayor: Part II,” I implied that the Municipal Employees Association supported the Mayor’s cuts to the libraries.

Specifically, I asked:

“Is it the Municipal Employees Union that is blocking the Library funding?  Surely, their membership includes families and friends who use the libraries.  Or people who want jobs.  Or just rational individuals who understand that depriving library users in every neighborhood free access to knowledge is just plain stupid.”

The MEA’s, General Manager, Mike Zucchet, was kind enough to respond and correct that impression.

“You are correct that, generally speaking (and anywhere in the City), we would support converting hourly positions to standard hour positions, but that has nothing to do with the guts of this nutty proposal from the City to slash Library hours.  In fact, as you know the City’s (former) proposal was to also eliminate and lay off not just hundreds of hourlies but also dozens of standard hour positions and employees too. So this went way beyond simply converting hourly employees to full time.

I think it’s also important to note that – TO THIS DAY – MEA has had no communication from the Library Department interested in our opinion.  As you note in your article, that is something the City is required to do by law anyway, so you would think it would lead with that.  But we have been in the dark.

That’s why that line in your article was puzzling.  In public, in private – we have unequivocally opposed and fought the proposal!”

I stand corrected and apologize to Mr. Zucchet and the MEA members and applaud their opposition to the library budget cuts.

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