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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Cuyahoga County Public Library to Layoff or Furlough More Than 300

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2020 at 9:52 AM

  • Courtesy Cuyahoga County Public Library
The Cuyahoga County Public Library system will layoff or furlough the entirety of its contract and seasonal workforce to prepare for a projected $5 million budget shortfall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 300 staff members will be laid off or furloughed, according to a statement by the regional library system Wednesday.

Additionally, the library's unionized workforce and managers (nearly 560 employees) will have their hours reduced by 50 percent starting May 3. Work schedules for many have already been modulated since March 14, when all of the system's branches closed. 

CCPL said it has applied for a state layoff avoidance program, SharedWork Ohio, which would allow staff to receive unemployment benefits even as they work at reduced hours.

The library projects to save nearly $2 million in salary reductions, it said. It also plans to "eliminate or postpone several planned maintenance projects, reduce its materials budget and decrease other general expenditures."

“Like everyone else, Cuyahoga County Public Library is experiencing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Tracy Strobel, CCPL executive director, in a statement provided to the media. "We must make incredibly difficult decisions to reduce our operating costs, but these steps are essential to the long-term sustainability of our Library system. When we emerge from this phase of the pandemic response the Library needs to be here for the community to help job seekers, students seeking Internet access and residents who need accurate, reliable information.”

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