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The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) confirms the conclusion of pay equity programs in eight Quebec universities. As a result, thousands of employees received hourly rate increases ranging anywhere from a few pennies to $6, with an average increase of approximately $2 an hour. These adjustments are the culmination of years of work to rectify the systemic salary shortfalls affecting predominately female job categories.

CUPE completed the pay equity process at the end of 2010 (before the December 31 deadline) in the following institutions: the Université du Québec à Montréal, the Université de Montréal, the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi, the Université du Québec à Rimouski, the Institut national de la recherche scientifique, the École de technologie supérieure, as well as the École nationale d’administration publique.

Below are a few examples of average wage increases for some of the most common jobs in some of the targeted universities.

Administrative officer: $2.66
Accounts receivable clerk: $1.88
Registrar clerk: $1.37
Clerk (library): $0.90
Accounting clerk: $1.28
Secretary: $1.45
Executive secretary: $2.63
Administration technician: $1.77
Documentation technician: $1.77
Telephone operator/receptionist: $1.08

The increases apply starting on November 21, 2001. Employees having held one of the targeted female-dominated jobs will be granted salary adjustments retroactive to this date, whether they are still working, retired, or have since changed jobs. In each case, the payments could potentially add up to several thousands of dollars.

CUPE has not yet completed the pay equity process at Université de Sherbrooke. The employer requested and obtained a deadline extension to March 1, 2011 from the Commission d’équité salariale (CES) in order to avoid losing its right to staggered payments and to avoid having to pay additional penalties.

After years of hard work we can now close the chapter knowing that our efforts have paid off for our members. We have managed to put an end to historic iniquities thanks to the determination and persistence of our union activists,” stated Dominique Delorme, CUPE’s union representative responsible for pay equity in the university sector.