Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton librarians postpone strike over volunteers

Librarians on strike in Southampton
Image caption Librarians believe volunteers lack their "skill and commitment"

A second strike by Southampton's librarians angry at plans to replace some of them with untrained volunteers has been postponed for a week.

The librarians, who held a one-day strike on 21 June, believe volunteers lack their skill and commitment.

Southampton City Council said it was responding to "difficult economic times ahead".

The Unison union said the strikes had been delayed while a new offer from the authority was considered.

'Avoid job cuts'

The union will discuss the deal before putting it to members on Wednesday.

Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker said: "Unison members remain committed to defending the city's library service."

He said members hoped that talks could success and industrial action could be avoided.

If an agreement is not reached the postponed two-day strike will go ahead on 23 and 26 July.

The council plans to recruit members of the public to carry out unpaid work in the libraries to cover seven librarian posts to save money.

Councillor John Hannides, Southampton's cabinet member for leisure, culture and heritage, said the planned measures would help avoid job cuts.

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