- Our Up with Womens Wages! campaign
Women across CUPE are starting to organize, form committees and work with their Local union brothers to raise wages. Manitoba members in sub-units of CUPE 2348 (Osborne House, Genesis House and the Immigrant Womens Association) negotiated pay hikes from 30 to 107 per cent! At Winnipegs Deaf Centre, where seven of eight workers are women, members bargained a starting rate increase of $4.26 an hour!
- World March of Women
50,000 women marched on Parliament Hill on October 15th last year as part of the World March organized by the Federation des femmes de Quebec. Joined by women and men in other centres across the country, thousands more demonstrated for an end to poverty and violence against women.
- Human Rights Tribunal ruling against discriminatory pay scales
Quebecs tribunal ruled that the University of Laval discriminated against CUPE 2500s office workers. The 131 members 86 per cent female found themselves with a ten-step pay scale while their comparable group the 84 per cent male trade and services unit had one rate of pay. The groundbreaking decision provides ammunition to fuel other actions against discriminatory incremental pay scales.
- Organizing more non-unionized women
Our commitment to organizing is bringing us new members, many of them women. Office and clerical employees at the Sudbury Cancer Centre voted to join CUPE on December 1st. All but one of the 75 members are women. They unionized despite the employers attempt to scare them off with a six-page document handed to each employee before the vote.
- Saskatchewans Were Worth More Community Based Organizations struggle
CUPE women have joined with the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union and the Service Employees International Union to put pressure on the provincial government to raise wages in the underpaid community based agency sector dominated by women workers.
- An increase in parental leave from 10 to 35 weeks
Federal Employment Insurance changes have increased parental leave to 35 weeks making 50 weeks of combined maternal/parental leave. While some provinces have harmonized their EI provisions, the lobbying drive continues to ensure benefits are increased Canada-wide.
- Federal Labour Code changes protect pregnant and nursing workers
Women working in federal jurisdictions now have the right to withdraw from harmful work if they believe their workplace presents a danger to themselves, their foetus, or, in the case of nursing mothers, their baby.
- Raising the minimum wage
In November 2001, BC will increase its minimum wage to $8.00 an hour. The move will benefit the lowest paid workers, many of whom are women. It will also pressure other provinces to up their minimums.
Want to know more about Up with Womens Wages? Register for a workshop. Contact the education representative in your region or speak to your national representative.