Local 1321 Queens Library Guild

Local 1321 Advocacy

On March 11, 2014, NYC Council's Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries & International Intergroup Relations held its hearing on Mayor de Blasio's FY '15 Executive Budget. Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library and Queens Library executives testified that in addition to the Mayor's proposal, the three systems need $65 million more to hire the necessary staff to provide six day service in all branches and seven day service in some. The Unions representing the Libraries' unionized workforce testified in support of this funding level, and request that the City Council impose oversight, transparency and control of city funds.

Our customers deserve and need more Library services. With more money and oversight, Local 1321 members can do that.

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The following contains information regarding the contracting out of custodial work at the Queens Library.

On Friday November 8, the Local, with assistance from DC 37’s Legal Department, filed an Improper Practice, on next page, with the New York State Public Employee Relations Board. We filed this because of the Administration’s repeated violations of our contract and New York State labor law throughout their contracting out of custodial work. Read more >>>

In a strongly worded letter, see next page, to Borough President Helen Marshall and Queens Library President/CEO Thomas Galante, State Senator Jose Peralta strongly supports the continued use of union custodians to clean Queens Library branches and condemns the use of contract custodians.  Queens Library Guild, Local 1321 members thank State Senator Peralta for his support. Read more >>>

In a recent letter, Council Member Daniel Dromm expressed his opposition of the Queens Library's contracting out of custodial work. Queens Library Guild, Local 1321 greatly appreciates Council Member Dromm's strong support of our union.  Follow the link to see the letter. Read more >>>

Stop Contracting Out of Custodial Work at Queens Central Library!

The Queens Library Administration in April hired a private company to clean the Central Library. The Library Administration refuses to hire union custodial workers, using the bogus claim that the city hasn’t provided enough money.

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The members of Brooklyn Public Library Guild, New York Public Library Guild, Quasi Public Workers (NYPL blue collar employees) and Queens Library Guild are embarking on a campaign to pass baseline funding legislation. This legislation will end the broken annual budget process that has made the libraries’ budgets political fodder.

For over ten years, each year, the mayor has proposed budgets that are drastically less than the budget the libraries received the year before. For the majority of those years, the City Council restored either the same or more than what the libraries received the previous year. But, for the past few years the City Council has been unable to restore enough money to prevent the loss of millions of dollars and hundreds of our co-workers. What’s more, these cuts have occurred when library usage is at an all time high.

This constant destructive and dispiriting budget uncertainty has put an incredible strain on everyone who works for the libraries. Therefore, to put an end to this broken and morale-killing budget process, DC 37, Locals 374, 1321, 1482 and 1930 have created the following legislation that would “baseline” library funding, establishing a floor so the city’s three libraries systems will receive a guaranteed level of funding year-to-year.

Effective [date], a sum representing two and one-half percent (2.5%) of the real property tax levy assessed each fiscal year shall be dedicated to the operation and maintenance of the libraries systems.

For this to succeed, you need to become an advocate. We urge you to join with your co-workers to spread the message to your public and elected officials. Our voices must be heard. We will be introducing strategies throughout the campaign for you to participate, including online activism, rallies, and other campaign actions. Enclosed is an FAQ that explains the legislative and budget processes and should help make us all better advocates.

Baseline funding legislation will ensure New York Cities’ libraries receive adequate and steady funded so that every library user can enjoy our great services. For this campaign to be a success, we all need to do our part. We need to educate our patrons and elected officials. For the sake of New York Cities’ libraries, please help pass baseline funding legislation.

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Live from Jamaica Part II

Live From Jamaica! I Love My Library!

Queens Library customers and staff telling the world about why their Library is the Greatest. In two parts!

Oversight - Recovery Efforts of the City’s Libraries and Cultural Establishments

Queens Library President/CEO Tom Galante, Lauren Comito, ULU and President John Hyslop along with our counterparts at BPL and NYPL testified today at the Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations and Select Committee on Libraries. The Council's website says we can view it here.

When you get a moment, thank the Council Members on the Committee:
Chairman Jimmy Van Bramer, 718-383-9566, 
Chairman Vincent Gentile, 718-748-5200
Council Member Leroy Comrie, 718-776-3700, 
Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, 718-366-3900
Council Member Inez Dickens, 212-678-4505
Council Member Daniel Dromm, 718-803-6373
Council Member Andy King, 718-684-5509
Council Member Domenic Recchia, 718-373-9673

Members of Local 1321 of District Council 37 and concerned patrons of the Queens Borough Public Library have filed a lawsuit in Queens County Court to obtain copies of the library’s Board of Trustees’ minutes.  Follow the link to the lawsuit. Read more >>>

See past years of our fight to restore proposed budget cuts!

Queens Library Guild, Local 1321 members and their partners fought to save New York City's libraries. Our advocacy campaign convinced our politicians that this city's libraries are an essential service and we needed full restoration. The Queens Library staff throughout Queens made a tremendous effort to advocate for their libraries. We held rallies, petition and postcard signing events, read-ins, hugs and other creative events.

DC 37's We Are New York Rally, Awesome!

Really I've got to say Wow!  I know that sounded corny but truly, I'm impressed with the Local.  Over 40 Queens Library people joined 10s of thousands of DC 37 members and supporters came out to tell Mayor Bloomberg that this is our City and these budget cuts are not necessary.  This was the largest showing of Local 1321 members at a DC 37 rally since I've been involved.  Jackson Heights, Glendale, Cataloging, Steinway, Maspeth, East Elmhurst, Peninsula, Queens Village, ITS, Central, Woodside, Laurelton, Long Island City, Bay Terrace, Lefferts, Interlibrary Loan and others that I forgot were there to represent the local.

We had a strong presence, with our posters, flags and people.  Every politician and almost every labor leader that spoke mentioned how important libraries are to this city. Councilman Vincent Gentile used most of his speech to talk about how important libraries are.

Before the rally, while we waited for members to arrive, Kacper Jarecki and Margaret Gibson gathered petition signatures.  Danny Messina carried the flag, which could be seen from all over.  He and Salwa Elmeawad, made it to the stage, and Salwa's poster was constantly seen on the massive screen.  Jane Jacobs got interviewed by WNYC.

This was a great rally. We have to be proud of strong presence.

Rally at Jackson Heights a resounding success!

The Jackson Heights Community Library Staff whipped up a great rally.  Over 60 people came to Jackson Heights, a well air conditioned Cooling Center, to hear Council Member Daniel Dromm and Council Member Leroy Comrie's Community Liason Jamal Wilkerson speak about how important libraries are to New York City.  After the rally Council Member Dromm read to about 30 kids one of his favorite children's books House Mouse, Senate Mouse by Peter W. Barnes.  The Times-Ledger paper came out to cover the event.

South Hollis Community Library Petition Rally

In keeping the momentum of advocacy going at the South Hollis Community Library, we organized a postcard and petition signing event for June 3, 2011. Everyone helped in this hugely successful event. The staff at South Hollis Community Library, The Block Association and the local schools all played important roles in this advocacy effort. The numbers were outstanding as 326 people signed petitions and 222 postcards were signed. The residents of the South Hollis Community Library, much like every other Queens neighborhood, are concerned about the budget cuts and how they will affect their community. We are strongly urging the politicians to restore funds to Queens Library.

Great Rally Laurelton Community Library

On Monday June 6 the Laurelton Community Library held a rally, petition and postcard signing event. At this event there were 12 ULU, 86 GCA cards and 129 petitions signed. Council Member James Sanders showed up to show his support for libraries.

Rally at Richmond Hill

The staff at Richmond Hill Community Library had a great rally.  Council Member Elizabeth Crowley came out to show her support for NYC's libraries.  The Friends of the Richmond Hill Library and Girl Scout Troops 4002 and 4086 let her know how much the Library means to Richmond Hill.  We had a great time.

Board walk and rally for Books, Jobs and Libraries Rockaway Peninsula

The world didn't end and we fought for Libraries on the Rockaway Boardwalk!  Library supporters marched down the Boardwalk from the Arverne Community Library and Seaside Community Library, chanting "1, 2, 3, 4 Libraries' have open doors! 2, 4, 6, 8 Use our Books to Educate!".  We met at Beach 94th Street and walked up to Peninsula Community Library.  There we listened to Council Members Eric Ulrich and James Sanders and community advocates talk about the importance of libraries to the citizens of the Rockaways and how we need to keep them open.  This was a great event.  Thanks to the staff of the Rockaway's community libraries, Council Members and supporters for coming out on our last day on Earth!


What a great rally at the Flushing Community Library! Rambunctious library supporters from all over Queens came out to show their love of libraries. Through chants of “Save our Libraries!” and “No More Cuts!” we listened to politicians and library employees talk about the drastic cuts and how it would impact library services. Library staff members volunteered to get petitions and postcards signed. We had a great turnout. Let's all thank Council Members Peter Koo, Dan Halloran, Leroy Comrie and Jimmy Van Bramer, Borough President Helen Marshall and Assembly Member Grace Meng for coming out and showing support for us! This was a great start to our advocacy.  Let's keep up the pressure!

When you have your event, feel free to use this flyer.

Local 1321 members created these Tip Sheets that contain contact information to our Community Library's elected officials, police precincts, community boards and local press.  These contacts can be used to engage your community leaders for your library's events such as programs, rallies, etc.

You can also locate your Council Member by going to this website, http://council.nyc.gov/html/members/members.shtml

Local 1321 created a list of talking points staff can use when they hold events at their location.

Local 1321 Advocacy, Get Involved!

We need every Local 1321 member to be involved with this year's advocacy efforts.  Check out Budget Advocacy and Layoff Resources on the left hand side to see how. 

Also check the Calendar and Calendar by month for rallies by Local 1321 members and our partners!

If you are interested in having an event at your branch or volunteering for BAC events email local1321bac@gmail.com.

As a result of Mayor Bloomberg's proposed $25.3 million reduction for Queens Library for  fiscal year 2012, Queens Library's Administration issued layoff notices to 234 Union employees on Friday May 6, 2011.  If City funding is not restored, layoffs will take effect in August 4, 2011.

Local 1321 formed its Budget Action Committee to concentrate and coordinate its budget advocacy efforts.  Members need your involvement.  If you want to get involved contact President John Hyslop.

This article explains NYC's budget process and was taken from a letter written to Local 1312 Membership regarding the FY 2012 budget.

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