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Economic discrimination is still an issue for many CUPE members

BURNABY—International Women’s Day is a day of celebration, connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. It’s also a day to recognize our achievements and consider what we hope to accomplish.

We still do not have pay equity and women face economic discrimination. Although the Harper government claims that women have achieved economic equality, women still earn only about 71 cents compared to every dollar earned by men. Discrimination is even greater for Aboriginal women, women workers of colour, and women with disabilities.

CUPE BC’s Women’s Committee is taking some of the recommendations of CUPE National Women’s Task Force and developing ways to act on them. The Committee plans to create a resource kit on the issues that were identified as barriers. They hope to address how we access union education, develop dependent care policies, create a FAQ sheet, and establish a list of women who are willing to mentor other women in their region.

CUPE National is participating in the CLC campaign on women’s economic equality. The campaign slogan is “Equality! “Once and for all!” They will hold Teach-ins throughout the year starting on March 8, and will launch their website www.onceandforall on that day. (note web address will not work until March 8)

Because of the struggle B.C.’s library workers have experienced over the past year, we’re revitalizing our efforts to achieve pay equity legislatively. The Pay Equity Working Group was re-established in September and met twice. One of their goals is to make themselves available to locals and district councils on the issue of pay equity.

In Victoria, library workers will celebrate International Women’s Day with a family-friendly rally and march starting at 1:00 pm at Centennial Square (next to Victoria’s heritage City Hall at Douglas and Pandora). Greater Victoria Public Library workers are among the lowest-paid civic employees in the Capital Regional District. A large segment of Library employees earn less than $10.00 per hour and are denied access to the benefit plan. About 80 per cent of library workers are women. Everyone is welcome at this fun event.

Women’s Day Events happening throughout B.C.