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Union president says City negotiator Brunsdon misleading taxpayers on pay equity issue

VICTORIA—The union representing public library workers in Greater Victoria is continuing its job action and preparing to cancel various library programs while its members seek a fair contract that addresses pay equity, CUPE 410 president Ed Seedhouse said today.

CUPE 410 will abide by the results of binding arbitration to determine whether or not pay equity has in fact been addressed by the current pay structure,” said Seedhouse, “but we’re certainly not going to abide by the employer’s current views on pay equity.”

Seedhouse was referring to comments by the Greater Victoria Public Library’s chief negotiator Ron Brunsdon, published in today’s edition of the Times Colonist, that the union is “putting a spin on” the pay equity issue “to attract public sympathy and support” during bargaining and that it is making false comparisons between job classifications.

Mr. Brunsdon is unwilling to acknowledge what is plain for all to see—that there is a significant wage gap—20 to 30 per cent, in some cases—between equivalent jobs in the City and the Library, and that this disparity mostly affects women,” said Seedhouse.

The job evaluation comparisons have been done, as required by the 1992 memorandum of agreement, and pay equity was promised for all equivalent positions.”

CUPE 410 resumed job action for four hours today, with most branches stopping work at 11 a.m. and Central branch workers stopping at noon.

Seedhouse said that various library programs will be cancelled indefinitely. These include all early literacy story times, family drop-ins and preschooler reading programs, story clubs, all national science and technology week programs, Halloween events, class and school visits, and outreach presentations. The Esquimalt Story Fest, which is mostly sponsored by the local recreation centre, will proceed as scheduled.

Cancelled adult programs include alternative health, Chinese medicine and sport, book talks and author readings, sessions on investments, wills and estates, continuing education programs, Camosun College career development and a wide variety of adult computer education courses taught by librarians.


Contact:  Ed Seedhouse, CUPE 410 president: (250) 588-9565
  Tammy Simonds, CUPE representative: (250) 812-7197
  Dan Gawthrop, CUPE Communications: (604) 999-6132