Because of a complicated arrangement between Metro Government and several private entities, Nashville Public Library employees who work in the Main branch have to pay nearly $1300 a year to park at the building they work in. No other employees working for NPL face this expense.
The issue of parking in the Main branch was brought to NPL Library Director Kent Oliver by the Union as soon as he arrived in Nashville and he was immediately supportive. Mr. Oliver included employee parking in his budget memo to the Finance Dept. prior to the Mayor’s budget hearings in March.
During that budget hearing, NPL board member Margaret Ann Robinson spoke in favor of parking relief and several SEIU members in the Main branch wrote her a letter of thanks for her advocacy.
A Campaign Committee of SEIU members in the Main branch began a petition drive to get free or reduced parking, gathering signatures from 99% of the library staff in Main.
The petitions were presented at the May board meeting by Union members and the Board agreed to support efforts to give parking relief. In June, Mr. Oliver delivered the petitions to the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Finance.
Union members brought the issue of parking relief to the attention of the Metro Council at several lobbying events organized by SEIU and questions were asked by Metro Council members at the library department’s budget hearing in May. Unfortunately, parking relief was not addressed in the final budget that was passed by the Metro Council.
The Campaign Committee is investigating other options and welcomes input from employees on how best to proceed. A special thanks goes out to the Parking Campaign Committee members Bryan Jones, James McClanahan, Bridget Radford, Julie Burns, and James Staub for all the hard work they have done and to all NPL employees who have signed the petition and have lent us their support.
Stay tuned to www.seiu205.org for updates…