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Library Talks Are at Impasse, Officials Say

November 21, 1997

The Palos Verdes Library District has declared an impasse in its labor negotiations with library employees and will not enter into mediation, library officials said.

The district and the union that represents the 63 employees who work in the Palos Verdes Peninsula's three libraries have been negotiating a proposed 1997-98 employment contract since May. The district will hold a public meeting tonight in which board members will review the positions taken by the district and the union on salary and benefits.

Employees, represented by Service Employees International Union, Local 347, are seeking a 3% raise, said union representative Gail Gegna, a library employee. The district is offering a 1.5% increase along with a cutback in benefits.

Library employees have not received a raise in six years. The union is concerned that without a mediator, the board will impose undesirable terms, Gegna said.

Faced with several lawsuits over the construction of the Peninsula Center Library and the $2 million in repairs that the facility needs, library officials said the district doesn't have the money for higher raises.

"We wanted to give something, but the library is going through a lawsuit now," said Diana Moreno, executive director of the district. "This is all the board felt they could afford at this point."

The meeting tonight is scheduled for 7 in the community room of the Peninsula Center Library at 701 Silver Spur Road in Rolling Hills Estates.

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