Montreal

Lester B. Pearson school board warns of librarian job cuts

The Lester B. Pearson School Board Board says it has to look at eliminating some librarian positions because of budget cuts.

Board says it may have to cut jobs because of financial restraints

The Lester B. Pearson School Board has issued layoff notices to 18 elementary school librarians.

All 18 elementary-school librarians working for the Lester B. Pearson School Board received notices this week telling them their jobs may be cut.

The librarians work at all 36 elementary schools within the board.

Chairwoman Suanne Stein Day says the board is considering cutting the jobs due to budget cuts.

"We've received our budget rules and of course, we are suffering additional, large budget compressions. The Lester B. Pearson School Board is now over $14 million in cuts this year and some of the targeted areas are in support staff which includes librarians," Stein Day said.

The school board plans to present its preliminary budget for the coming school year on June 29.

Cuts will affect students' educations

The head of the union representing the librarians, Anita Nenadovich, said 18 elementary-school librarians received the notices. She said four have full-time, tenured status who may bump into other positions within the board.

To say that librarians are no longer necessary is really quite devastating.- Anita Nenadovich, librarians' union

​Nenadovich said schools still have a responsibility to promote literacy and books.

"To say that librarians are no longer necessary is really quite devastating," said Nenadovich. "This is affecting every elementary student's education." 

She said the board has not told the employees what it is going to be doing with the libraries.

The Lester B. Pearson School Board, one of Quebec's largest, oversees English schools from Verdun to the West Island and further west off-island.

Stein Day said in March the board would have to consider several options, including school closures and the cancellation of programs after the provincial government tabled its most recent budget.

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