On Wednesday, February 13, the board of the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association met and voted to lock out Library workers and the people of the Capital Region whom CUPE Local 410 proudly serves; starting on Black Monday February 18, 2008.
Show our sisters and brothers of CUPE Local 410 that we care about them and their struggle for human rights: equal pay for work of equal value. Your fight is ours, too. Please take the time to read and reread 10 years Overdue: Pay Equity at the Greater Victoria Public Library see
The Greater Victoria Public Library workers story is our story, except they bargained contract language for pay equity. The GVLRA avoided fulfilling their contractual obligations for a number of years. The work of comparing library jobs to a male-dominated workforce occurred just before a grievance on the subject went to arbitration. The arbitration was avoided when the parties agreed to do a joint union/management study of the relationship of Library jobs to Victoria City jobs. The study was published in 2000 and established a mutually agreed upon relationship between jobs at the Library and jobs at the City of Victoria.
In the period between 1996-2000, funding was found by the municipality of Victoria to fully implement pay equity at the City. All the other locals involved in the original agreement achieves full funding and equal pay for work of equal value by 2004. But not for Library workers. If male/female ratios were calculated for all those other locals that achieved pay equity, how many would prove to be female-dominated workforces? Any?
CUPE 391 has tried to achieve pay equity through bargaining and it was messy. Sometimes when you break new ground it is messy. We tried other avenues and found ourselves in a labyrinth of dated ideas and misogynist values. Fortunately our mess was a very creative one and has sparked debate. The public now knows the issues around pay equity because we did what we always do – shared our research. The credibility of men with six figure incomes proclaiming that there is no pay equity problem for library workers comes from the same school of logic that funds the new Translink meetings. Baffling to the uninitiated.
We need a new game, folks, to explain these anomalies. How about a distaff cousin of the game of Jeopardy? “Know Your Politicians”. Lets think up categories of questions and match them to our local politicians and trustees. We can research the last ten or fifteen years to see what and how these guys have voted on issues. That’ s one way to keep library workers busy while we are working towards achieving pay equity. Because make no mistake, we will. In the meantime…
CUPE 410 Library Workers Need Your Support!