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Plan could save Plattsburgh Public Library

It means concessions, but jobs would be saved and the library strengthened


Plattsburgh Public Library’s Board of Directors discuss a plan that could save four positions and increase the library’s financial stability.

Plattsburgh Public Library’s Board of Directors discuss a plan that could save four positions and increase the library’s financial stability. Photo by Stephen Bartlett.

— Carpenter’s four-year plan, among other things, would have the union work with the board to resolve the cost of overtime and only reduce the book budget $5,000 to $10,000.

The union would have to agree to drop all grievances for a savings of $11,000.

The union would further have to sign a four-year contract with 0-percent raises and a 15-percent contribution toward health insurance from all employees.

Library employees would only be able to earn 12 sick days instead of 24, and a new grievance process would be instituted. It would include a grievance committee of two union representatives, two board members, one management and a facilitator.

Carpenter said if the agreements can be approved by Dec. 28 with the union’s blessing he can request additional funding of $60,000 from the City of Plattsburgh.

“I am extremely confident I can get this money,” he said. “All those pieces have to come out that way. The union is going to have to sacrifice a little.”

Principal Library Clerk Jody Helfgott does not have a problem with that.

“We are willing to make the sacrifice.”

Carpenter admitted it wasn’t a great contract, but he said it keeps the library stable for four years.

“Bring this budget back to the library and let them decide,” he said. “Let the workers determine their own fate.”

If the plan is not approved, the library’s Board of Directors indicated it would utilize its original budget, cutting the four positions.

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