Statement on the strike action announced by Hackney’s library service

Cllr Chris Kennedy

Cllr Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Libraries, responds to the strike action announced by Hackney’s library service.

As you may be aware, Hackney’s library service has announced four days of strike action this month.

Obviously we are disappointed that our union colleagues have chosen this course of action. We have worked with the unions and the service throughout this process to try and avoid this. Our primary concern remains the wellbeing of the staff, especially those who are due to work on those days, whether they wish to work or to take part in strike action. 

The new structure in the libraries service, against which they are striking, will provide better pay and better career progression for every member of staff who remains in the service. However, we know that many library staff are feeling anxious about the upcoming interviews for the new roles, and that some staff who wish to work may be concerned about coming into libraries across picket lines. 

This is why we plan to close our libraries on the strike days : Tuesday 10 , Thursday 12, Monday 16 and Friday 20 January.

Ordinarily, we would ensure we continue to provide a service for residents. However library staff are currently in the middle of a recruitment process, so to help reduce the impact of this work on staff, we have made the decision to close the libraries and prioritise staff wellbeing.

We will honour all community room bookings with security staff giving access to the buildings. Further information is available on how else residents can access the valuable services our libraries provide.

I want to thank you for your understanding and patience. We will continue to work with the unions and our colleagues to try and avoid further disruption to services for residents and to the health and wellbeing of our staff.