Library employees take pay cut to save jobs

Library employees take pay cut to save jobs (Image 1)

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – Faced with another round of budget cuts, Hendersonville Public Library employees have agreed to a 10% pay cut in order to save two jobs.

“We operate on such a thin budget, the best thing we could do is to cut salaries,” Library Board Trustee Shelley Ames told News 2.

Library Director Virginia Duffett was ordered to cut $36,000 from her budget but given the freedom of how to do so.

Since hours at the library have already been cut, it came down to firing two people or cutting the salaries of the library's 19 employees.

She said most agreed it was the best way to handle the budget cuts.

“I don't know whether they are talking among themselves but I haven't heard from anyone who says this is a bad deal and they are leaving,” she said.  “One part-time worker came to me and said they'd be willing to cut back on their hours if it would help keep me from having to fire someone.”

Stephanie Ferguson has been an employee of the library since February.

She told News 2, “Quite frankly we see people using our computers every day looking for jobs, I'm just thankful I'm not one of them.  I thought [the pay cut] was fair.  It's 10% across the board and nobody gets laid off, so I'm just thankful I still have a job.”

Ames said the library hopes to increase the employees' salaries later, “when things are not as difficult as they are now.”

The cuts are the second facing all four public libraries in Sumner County.

In Gallatin, the library cut its budget through personnel and in Portland, library workers agree to cut out janitorial services and clean the library themselves.

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