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Combining jobs continues with the library and copy room

Is This Good or Bad for TUHS?

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Combining jobs continues with the library and copy room

Board member John Kopp at the January 22 board meeting. Kopp seeming focused on the meeting as he looks over the board agenda.

Board member John Kopp at the January 22 board meeting. Kopp seeming focused on the meeting as he looks over the board agenda.

Jonah Armstrong

Board member John Kopp at the January 22 board meeting. Kopp seeming focused on the meeting as he looks over the board agenda.

Jonah Armstrong

Jonah Armstrong

Board member John Kopp at the January 22 board meeting. Kopp seeming focused on the meeting as he looks over the board agenda.

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At the January 22 board meeting, the Board of Trustees were given a difficult topic on the agenda to consider that was met with some heavy concern, that topic being the combination of positions in the Library and Copy Room. This topic was explained by Cari Fivecoat, Senior Accounting Tech in the TUHS Business Office. She went into explaining how, over the past few weeks, SEIU has been working H.R. and administration on the combination of jobs., as Fivecoat said during the discussion, “… I think it is crucial to the budgetary needs of the district and meeting those needs.” Fivecoat explained how recently they have discussed combining the copy room and the library job into a single classified position. Fivecoat did mention that, “It’s a lot of work to take on but they’re excited about it.” Fivecoat then added on saying, “I think it also allows a training and that expansion of knowledge across current classified staff and it saves jobs [of those employed currently by the District]. The more we can combine [as opposed to laying folks off] the better it is for our unit as a whole.”

Board member, John Kopp was most vocal on this topic seeming to question the idea with some concern. Kopp talked about the idea of rethinking and reimagining the creation of different opportunities, “I saw this whole thing with the library and I thought, ok, I really don’t care about a person in the copy room (to be honest). But I do care about what happens in the library–and I’m not always afraid of making decisions where things are cut, but there’s no vision, there’s no new vision, there’s no re-visioning–there’s just cutting. I’m always concerned about that because I always view an opportunity like this as an opportunity to reimagine…and figure out new things. That’s what I’m hoping comes out of this and it’s not just a let’s cut, let’s cut, let’s cut. There’s more opportunities built into this and that’s what I’m hoping to see as we move forward.”

Kopp then went into putting an emphasis on the importance of the library, “Because every time we talk about a cut or combination…what does the library look like now? How can we use that better, in 2019? That maybe in 2019 we don’t use it the same way we used it in 1989–but what does it look like? Maybe I’m not the person–to know that because I’m old now. Maybe getting some people together to reimagine that because I definitely don’t want our students’ services cut so that we can make more copies and give more pencils and pens.” Fivecoat then mentioned that before they brought the proposal to H.R. that she and Kim Martin, a member of SEIU (Service Employees International Union), that the idea came forth from the technology that is now available to the students and staff. The students do not need to check out every textbook at the library since there are online textbooks that students can use. Fivecoat went onto to say, “I’m not saying the library isn’t being utilized, but you have somebody who’s right next door. We were seeing that we still need those things–but I don’t know if you know the cost side of things. It costs more money to make–if I’m not mistaken–for teachers to make copies within the copy room on those machines than it does for somebody to make copies for them inside the copy room….” (the reference here is to the fact that copies made on smaller machines generally are less economical to make than on the larger, more industrial machines used by the Copy Room Technician.)

Kopp cut Fivecoat off shortly as he retorted sarcastically with, “Isn’t it all on Illuminate now we don’t need any copies? Illuminate handles all of it I thought.” What Kopp was referring to was how recently Illuminate Education, an online education tool used by TUHS for testing, experienced a major complication during finals week. This caused many problems for teachers with students unable to access their tests on Illuminate, slowing teachers and students down significantly. Some teachers then went ‘old school’ and printed out the tests from the copy room, a time consuming task as final exams were already in progress. This was already reported on the Gusher in December of 2018.

The idea was approved by the board but was moved then into Closed Session on the BoardDocs. More information will be provided in the follow-up story.

Currently, as Victoria Schooler, the head librarian noted in an email that was sent asking questions on the topic, “We are in transition with this change…I am open to creative suggestions and ideas from staff and students on how to improve library services and how to provide more access for our students and staff.”

 

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Combining jobs continues with the library and copy room