February 17, 2018

Boston PL Union and Baltimore County’s Fish Win SirsiDynix – ALA‑APA Awards

By LJ Staff

AFSCME Local 1526 of the Boston Public Library and James Fish, director of the Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL), Towson, MD, have been named the winners of the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) second annual SirsiDynix-ALA-APA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Salaries and Status for Library Workers. "The [Boston] union did an outstanding job in their last contract negotiations to win upgrades for all 76 library support staff in the 26 of the 27 branches of the city public library system," said jury chair Peter McDonald. Local 1526 won a ten percent salary increase over the next four years.

In Baltimore County, a salary study completed in FY00-01 revealed that the salaries of BCPL librarian were 17 percent below competitive positions. Fish began what jury member Jennifer Kutzik called "the relentless education of the Board of Library Trustees and the County Executives." In April 2004, the Baltimore County Council approved a $450,000 increase for BCPL salaries. In FY04-05, a new pay program resulted in a 7.34 percent pay adjustment for all staff, annual merit steps of 5 percent, and a base starting librarian salary increase of 13.4 percent. Eileen Muller, president of the Brooklyn Library Guild, Local 1482, was given an honorable mention for her ten years of work to increase the wages of more than 950 Guild workers and to add two new levels of clerical job descriptions that increased their wage structure. The winners will be honored during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans in June.