Sunday, December 10, 2006

Berkeley Director Search Ignores Union

Donna Corbeil, Solano County Library deputy director, has been named Berkeley’s new library director. ...During the public comment period, Jane Welford of SuperBOLD, Berkeleyans Organizing for Library Defense, criticized the trustees for writing a job-search brochure without asking the community what they wanted in a librarian....

Blasting the trustees’ treatment of the union during the selection process as “totally disrespectful to the union,” Anes Lewis-Partridge, field director for SEIU Local 535, addressed the trustees after the selection was announced.The selection process had been flawed from the outset, she said, noting that the union had been excluded from participating in developing criteria for the position. The union had asked that candidates write about their experience with labor relations as part of the application process. “All we got was one line about labor relations” in the job announcement, she said.

And, she added, the union had asked for a union panel to interview the candidates and raise specifically union issues.

Library trustees said they were unaware of the concerns, which Lewis-Partridge said she had directed to Acting Director Roger Pearson.“We did not have input. This does not bode well for us,” Lewis-Partridge said. “We are not beginning on the best foot.”

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