Library aid issue

Teachers within the Corry Area School District may play a larger role in the library following a grievance filed by the schools’ bargaining unit. 

Superintendent Bill Nichols confirmed the grievance, which was brought by the Corry Area Education Association.

In a letter to members, CAEA President Melissa Sperry said the unit took issue of a clerk within an unspecified library performing the “same duties as library teachers.”  

“The association had no choice but to protest the district’s use of non-bargaining unit employees to perform our work,” Sperry said. “It is the position of the association that the disrict’s actions violated the contract and school code.”

Nichols said he recently was made aware of the grievance. He said the school district’s library clerks perform a variety of tasks, including collecting, repairing and replacing books. 

Some of the clerks also read to students in kindergarten to second grade. 

“They are asking us to replace the clerks with a librarian,” Nichols said. “And of course this grievance is in the beginning stages so we have a few options right now.”

Nichols said the school district could hire new librarians for the schools, although that option financially may not be available. Teachers likely will be used to read to students while classes are in the library.

“It is legal for (the teachers) to take their own kids and to perform some of those duties,” Nichols said. 

With the shuffle, library clerks will remain active staff. 

“By reducing their time in other areas, there should be plenty of stuff to do to keep the clerks busy,” Nichols said. 

Sperry, who had no additional comment beyond her letter, said the CAEA would like to see a librarian hired, although it wasn’t immediately clear for which school in the district. 

“The association’s action in no way should be construed to be negative toward the aides or the specific person working as the aide,” Sperry said. “This was a job security, school code and contract violation issue.

“The association would like to see a librarian hired to provide the essential service for our children.”

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