Monday, August 06, 2007

Temperatures rise at Enid Library

Enid News | Library worker woes continue

Only one of three library employees to file a formal grievance against director Ab Kader still is working at Public Library of Enid and Garfield County.

A dispute between some library employees and the new director, who started his post in January, has resulted in several meetings over the last few weeks with city human resources officials and City Manager Eric Benson to try to resolve the situation.

However, in the last three weeks, two of the employees who filed grievances have left their jobs. Their grievances are no longer valid, said Kevin Hill, organizer with the Amer-ican Federa-tion of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union, which represents Enid city employees.

Hill said one other employee is awaiting a hearing on her grievance.

Hill said library employees have tried to resolve their issues with Kader through normal processes, including communicating with the supervisor and then going up “the chain of command.”

Hill said employees who have filed grievances have done so under the process that is available to the union at this time before a contract with the city has been negotiated.

The current process allows for the grievance to go through a committee, with the final determination up to the city manager. Hill said the union wants to negotiate a contract that will allow for an independent arbitrator to rule on grievances.

Hill said union representatives plan to meet with Kader to try to resolve the issues before the committee hears the final grievance.

“Unfortunately, I think the city is portraying this as these folks being resistant to change,” Hill said. “They’re pretty resilient folks. It’s an issue of dignity and how you communicate change to people and how you treat your employees with the proper kind of feedback and proper criticism.”...

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