Vancouver, Wednesday, November 21 – Today, November 21, the date when pay equity is to come into force in Quebec, the 2,000-odd delegates of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) at the National Convention in Vancouver gave their whole-hearted support to the recent demonstrations organized in several universities and municipalities. With more than 40,000 members in Canadian universities, CUPE condemned the fact that the current Quebec pay equity legislation enables employers to get around the objectives of the legislation, that is, to establish pay equity between men and women.
It must be remembered that, in reaction to the employer’s proposals, the support staff in several components of the Universit 0064u Qub0065c (UQAM, UQAC, INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier) organized several legal demonstrations on December 13, 14, and 16. These demonstrations led to a meeting between the president of the Treasury Board, Sylvain Simard, and CUPE representatives last Friday. On that same day, UQAM announced the suspension of the corrections envisaged in the pay equity file, thus angering the employees. Since then, UQAC and UQTR have also repudiated these corrections. As of today, the support staff at the various campuses of the Universit 0064u Quebc0020are still awaiting the implementation of satisfactory corrections.
Roland Ct002c CUPE Vice-President for the Quebec university sector, says that “the file has progressed since last week”, but affirms on the other hand that “the universities will soon have to put their affairs in order”. The government must also do its share. Roland Ct0020says, “We met minister Simard last Friday, and he recognized the problem of under-funding. He is proud of the pay equity legislation and of the fact that his government had the courage to pass it. However, we reminded him that the government must also have the courage to support its choices and that his job is to apply the legislation by granting all necessary financial resources and that, in the universities, this means an injection of new spending.”
With more than a half million members in Canada, of whom 100,000 are in Qub0065c, CUPE represents some 40,000 university employees, support staff, teaching assistants, and sessional instructors. More than 6,000 of them, mainly support staff, work in Qub0065c universities. In Qub0065c, CUPE is also the largest union affiliated with the QFL.
SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (QFL)
Robert Bellerose (514) 247-9266