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Union says employer avoiding the issue by rejecting arbitration on pay equity levels

VICTORIA—In the latest of a series of job actions aimed at achieving a fair contract with pay equity, CUPE 410 this morning suspended indefinitely Internet service for library patrons at all 10 branches of the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL).

The action comes as the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association (GVLRA) appears on the verge of rejecting arbitration as a solution to the pay equity issue.

On Wednesday, CUPE 410 president Ed Seedhouse wrote to GVLRA chief negotiator Ron Brunsden, advising him that the union would seek an arbitrator’s decision on whether pay equity levels had been reached for library jobs equivalent to City of Victoria jobs.

Yesterday, Brunsden replied that he would recommend to GVLRA directors “that the collective bargaining process as set out in the Labour Code be respected and followed – not arbitration.”

Seedhouse said that Brunsden is avoiding the key issue of this dispute.

The GVLRA knows its position on pay equity cannot stand up to rational scrutiny and is transparently uninterested in reason or fairness,” he said.

Instead, it is seeking to perpetuate discrimination against a group of women workers it perceives as being weak and isolated, and it’s trying to bully library workers into surrender. That will never happen.”