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Prince Albert: Employees at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library want to know when the Library Board is going to meet with them.

The Library Board is holding another regular meeting tonight at 7 p.m. and once again the library workers are not on the agenda.

The 37 workers, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, have been seeking a meeting with the full board for more than a month. Last week, City Councillors supported the workers request for a Board meeting. However, the Library Board still hasnt contacted the union.

The CUPE members are seeking a 16% pay increase over three years to reduce the wage gap with civic employees.

Although the library workers are as well educated as other civic employees in Prince Albert, they are the worst paid. Compared to inside jobs at City Hall, library workers are paid less than every classification, except one the assistant concession manager.

The situation is worse when comparisons are made with the male-dominated jobs of the outside city workers, where entry-level positions are much higher. For example, the cashier at the city landfill makes $11.77 an hour, while a clerk at the library makes only $8.51 an hour.

Our pay system is a textbook example of gender-based wage discrimination, says union spokesperson Gail Peterson. We want to meet with the Board so they understand the extent of the problem.

Peterson described the unions pay request as a down payment toward achieving wage parity with other civic employees.

The collective agreement at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library expired December 31, 1999.

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For more information, call Paulette at 922-3895