A newly formed library board has selected Medford lawyer Mark Bartholomew to represent it and help negotiate a more-than-$8 million contract with Jackson County. The board will pay Bartholomew $200 an hour and decided to turn down an offer by retired lawyer Bill Mansfield to work free of charge…. The contract with the county is a complicated legal document in which the county assumes administrative functions of the library district and contracts with LSSI for the management of the libraries. The current cost to operate the libraries for a year is $6.5 million, but the contract is for a more than 16-month period, rather than a year, because property taxes won’t be collected until November….. The library district was formed July 1 with the passage of Ballot Measure 15-122, designed to provide a permanent source of funding for all 15 library branches after county budget woes threatened to close them. Passed May 20, the measure allows the district to tax Jackson County property owners up to 60 cents per $1,000 in assessed value each year….
LSSI begins labor talks / NLRB complaint means workers rehired by library firm will still be unionized
Source: By Damian Mann, Mail Tribune (OR), February 13, 2008
A private firm that operates Jackson County’s 15 libraries is being forced to recognize that a majority of its employees are members of a union to resolve a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board. “It means library employees will have their union back and more of a voice at their work,” said Pauline Black, a library assistant in Ashland. Service Employees International Union Local 503 filed an unfair labor practice complaint again Library Systems and Services LLC on Dec. 18, 2007, with the National Labor Relations Board, which was scheduled to rule on the matter later this week….. Frank Pezzanite, president and chief executive officer of LSSI, said he wants to work with the union but his company did not envision it would enter into bargaining talks when it signed a contract with Jackson County to operate libraries.
Public libraries find outside management
Source: Annie Gentile, American City and County, Jan 1, 2008
……. In April, Jackson County, Ore., closed all 15 of its public libraries after the county lost $23 million from timber receipts after Congress failed to renew the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act. County officials twice attempted to increase taxes for additional library funding, but both efforts were voted down, says County Administrator Danny Jordan. With no options left, the county closed the libraries, laying off 81 employees. … In October, the county contracted with Germantown, Md.-based Library Systems and Services (LSSI) to operate all 15 branches for five years for $27 million less than the county would have to spend to operate them in-house….