Aberdeenshire UNISON

Modernisation Review - Libraries, Museums and Arts Development
Aberdeenshire UNISON response

Clearly individualmembers and groups of employees have given have given considerable thought to the proposal and to developing alternatives. It is UNISON's view that these are worthy of full consideration. Consequently, UNISON has provided the service with a hard copy of all comments received, some 67 pages.

The responses had the following key themes

  • concern over professional management of Network Librarians under the Cultural Team Leader
  • lack of emphasis of the learning role of the library service in supporting the curriculum in schools
  • legislative pressures present at the outset of the review have been changed and the proposal needs re-examined in this light
  • fears that the new structure will not be able to accommodate all the roles and responsibilities covered by existing posts
  • management structures and grades not consistent across the organisation
  • a strong view that the structure could place at risk the integrated (schools and public) library service which has been a success for ALIS
  • natural concern about personal positions especially where posts are removed or significantly changed - this builds on a view that the reasons for change are not stated and as such cannot be properly discussed or challenged
  • failure to address the acknowledged need for additional library assistant provision in School libraries
  • the role of ALIS in Lifelong Learning is understated e.g. a Network Librarian is 65% occupied in a curricular context
  • Cultural Team Leader job description should place greater emphasis on the development and delivery of library services
  • professional librarians have expressed major concern at the proposed structure across Head Office functions - this has grown by the unexpected deletion of the Client Services Librarian post
  • the link between the Network Librarian and the secondary Head Teacher needs to be recognised
  • criticism of lack of detail on the Job Descriptions and the absence of person specifications has led to uncertainty about how the structure will work and what kind of person may be able to fill the posts
  • posts at the level under CSM should be uniform at Team Leader N ( preference is for 6 posts)
  • communication has been criticised for no or little opportunity for staff to meet and discuss - many feel that there should have been a project or focus group established to consider these proposals
  • differences in grade between certain posts is noted and this is not explained anywhere in the proposal
  • there are seen to be large gaps in grade terms between levels of the structure
  • concern about a reduction in career development opportunities for library staff
  • concern that the model does not give sufficient support to the Museum Service by way of curatorial posts
  • concern about the curatorial provision for Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, now recognised as nationally significant
  • concerns about the ability of the Arts Team to continue to deliver if their duties are diluted by service wide issues
  • concern about the location in the proposal for the Management of Duff House and Archeolink - should these be directly managed by the CSM for strategic and development purposes ?
  • a recognition that there are differences between sections e.g. the Arts Team are not managed by the Cultural Team Leader while Network Librarians are.

Bob Revie,
Branch Secretary



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