VICTORIA—Greater Victoria library workers have shut down all nine library branches and put up picket lines around the Central Branch in order to draw attention to their ongoing dispute with the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association (GVLRA).
“The GVLRA has refused to negotiate even one penny towards funding pay equity for Victoria library workers, who are predominately female and continue to experience wage discrimination,” said Ed Seedhouse, president of CUPE Local 410. “This is a major step backwards for fairness, given that, for the last 15 years, our employer provided over 7 per cent towards the goal of reaching pay equity with male-dominated positions at the City of Victoria.”
“The job action today is about informing the public and the politicians that this issue won’t go away until the GVLRA gets back to the bargaining table and starts negotiating pay equity funding,” said Seedhouse.
As further strike action, the union announced a “food for fines” initiative. Commencing November 28, striking library workers will forgive any library fines over the $10 limit if a patron brings an item for the local food bank.
Seedhouse said his members are prepared to keep escalating job action until the GVLRA comes back to the bargaining table.
The union began creative forms of job action in September, following a 90 per cent strike vote in July.
CUPE 410 represents 250 library workers in the GVPL system in the Central, Oak Bay, Emily Carr, Nellie McClung, Central Saanich, Esquimalt, Saanich Centennial, Bruce Hutchinson, and Juan de Fuca branches.
Contact: Ed Seedhouse, CUPE 410 president: 250.588.9565
Tammy Simonds, CUPE National representative 250.812.7197
For more information on CUPE 410’s campaign for pay equity, visit www.overduepromise.ca