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Montra006c, September 4, 2003 Despite a ruling by the Human Rights Commission, which supported the unions position, Universit 0064e Montra006c management refuses to grant pay equity to its support employees. On June 12, in response to a complaint submitted in 1996 by the union representing support employees at the Universit 0064e Montra006c (CUPE 1244), the commission recognized the existence of discrimination founded on sex in the evaluation system and the wage structure. Consequently, the commission gave the University until September 12, at 3 p.m. to remedy this injustice and to pay $35 million to the employees affected.

Last week, the university officially notified the union that it did not intend to implement the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission and would be taking legal action. The commission must therefore refer the case to the Human Rights Tribunal, which has the power to oblige the university to submit to its decision.

The union is outraged by the managements attitude. Sylvie Goyer, vice-president and responsible for the wage equity committee, finds it hard to believe. Our members went on strike for several weeks last spring, mainly to denounce the lack of pay equity and the Human Rights Commission supports our position, but the university continues to deny reality. Management has its head buried in the sand and refuses to look at other options. In fact, the university refuses to budge, under the pretext that the issue of the Human Rights Commission jurisdiction over the grievance adjudicator has still not been settled. They hide their failure to act and penny-pinching attitude behind a legal complication. Not only will women have to wait longer to obtain justice, but management will waste public funds in a series of useless court proceedings, said Sylvie Goyer. Management justifies its decision by saying that its evaluation system is the same as the public sector system. CUPE reminds the university that the pay equity issue has still not been settled in Qub0065c and in Ontario, the settlement obtained, assigned over $400 million to women in the public sector.

Several employees took advantage of the launching of a postage stamp to commemorate the institutions 125th anniversary. They brandished placards denouncing their employers position concerning pay equity. The situation is pretty ironic if not absolutely hypocritical. While Jacques Boucher, president of the 125th celebrations, is busy praising the university for the important role it plays in social progress and the consideration of societal issues, management is refusing to give equitable compensation to the women it employs. It is really inappropriate to strut around like a peacock preaching to others, concluded Sylvie Goyer.

CUPE represents some 15,000 members in the education sector in Qub0065c. In addition to education, CUPE is active in 10 other sectors including health and social services, municipalities, urban and air transportation, provincial corporations and public organizations, hydroelectricity and communications. With close to 100,000 members in Qub0065c, it is the largest FTQ affiliate.

This press release and other information are posted on the internet at scfp.qc.ca

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