Pay equity campaign continues with noon-hour shut down of all branches, to begin today
VICTORIA – The Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association (GVLRA) is out to lunch on pay equity issues, says the union representing Victoria’s library workers—so those workers are sitting out the noon hour in protest.
Beginning today and until further notice, most members of CUPE 410 will be taking their lunch hour at the same time, resulting in the closure of all 9 branches between 12 noon and 1 pm. Services to the public will not be available during this time.
“This action is not about ‘not working’, but about showing our employer, and the GVLRA through which it bargains, that library workers are united in our demand for what we were promised,” says CUPE 410 president Ed Seedhouse.
“There will be no picketing involved. By taking a common lunch hour, we’re telling the GVLRA that they are totally wrong about pay equity and that they need to get their facts straight.”
Recent media reports have quoted the GVLRA and its chief negotiator, Ron Brunsdon, as saying that “pay equity” was dealt with years ago and that library workers are now saying they want to be paid the same as City workers doing other jobs. In fact, says Seedhouse, library workers are not seeking anything new.
“The comparison between library wages and those of the City of Victoria was established 15 years ago, in a pay equity agreement reached between CUPE Local 410 and the GVLRA on September 16, 1992,” Seedhouse wrote in a letter sent to the GVLRA.
“That agreement was signed by the current Chief Negotiator for the GVLRA, Mr. Ron Brunsdon. In that agreement it clearly states, ‘It is understood that positions in the Library which are equivalent to positions in the City of Victoria shall be compared for the purposes of Job Evaluation and Pay Equity.’”