Rockingham Free Public Library trustees’ amnesia is alarming

Merits apology to librarian

SAXTONS RIVER — Some members of the Rockingham Free Public Library's Board of Trustees alleged at the June 25 board meeting that Library Director Célina Houlné had, last year, improperly and without board approval made changes to the library's personnel policy by granting pro-rated benefits to part-time staff.

In fact, in January 2012, the director proposed to the Library's Personnel Policy Committee a new leave policy granting two days of pro-rated personal leave per year to all staff. This proposal was made to reflect usual library practices and to keep RFPL competitive with other libraries.

Four current members of the Library's Board of Trustees were present at that meeting, where the proposal passed unanimously.

At a subsequent trustees' meeting on June 14, 2012, the board approved sick leave for all staff (not just full-timers, who already had it). Five current trustees were present at that meeting.

It is alarming that the trustees appear to have no recollection of those votes and that they take no ownership of their individual and collective actions, falsely accusing the librarian of misconduct.

We invite the trustees to explain their June 24 vote to “freeze” the part-time staff's pro-rated benefits of sick time and personal leave while the matter is further considered by several committees and then the complete board.

We also hope they will apologize for publicly charging the director with inappropriate action when indeed none occurred.

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