Up with Womens Wages! means its time for a raise. Its time to end the wage gap between men and women. Its time to make concrete gains on pay equity and minimum wage legislation. Its time to secure pensions and strengthen CPP. Its time to end violence against women often a by-product of womens economic dependence. We simply cant afford to wait any longer.
Weve already had some success. Since 1971, CUPE has helped push womens wages higher. Unionized women in Canada enjoy a smaller wage gap and better job security. And CUPE has helped to pressure more and more provinces to introduce pay equity legislation.
But its painfully clear women are still being underpaid. Women earn on average 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. For women of colour the wage gap is even bigger. That means more women are forced to live at or below the poverty line and work several part time jobs. More women cant afford to leave abusive relationships. More children of single moms are forced to go without. The wage gap hurts us all.
Up with Womens Wages! is CUPEs strategy to achieve real, concrete change not tomorrow, but today. It means integrating womens equality issues into everything CUPE does on a day-to-day basis, including our union education and organizing non-unionized workers. It means fighting privatization and supporting women to form action committees. Most importantly, it means including these goals in our collective bargaining and our political action efforts.
The Up with Womens Wages! campaign was launched as CUPEs major initiative around the World March of Women 2000. It is a way to show our solidarity with women all over the world on the issues of poverty and violence against women. It is a way to put womens wages back in the spotlight and keep them there until women get fair pay. And thats a promise.