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Montreal, Tuesday, October 17, 2000 A dozen university-sector unions across Quebec affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-QFL) will each be filing grievances today to demand that their employers pay fair remuneration by abolishing pay-scale echelons for all categories of employees covered by our bargaining units whose jobs are equivalent.

These grievances are directly related to a recent decision by Quebecs Human Rights Tribunal that condemn the University of Laval for violating the equality rights of its employees in the Clerical Group by not paying them wages or salary equal to that of their colleagues in the Trades and Services Group, despite the fact that their duties are equivalent. (decision 200-53-000013-982).

More than nice talk!

“It is no coincidence that we are filing these grievances today, which marks the culmination of the World March of Women against poverty and violence. We hear lots of nice talk and good intentions from politicians and employers these days about wanting a society that is fairer and more just for women.

“But what we want are tangible steps, and it seems that the only way to get them, apart from the tremendous mobilization of women, is the legal path. The Charter of Rights is not just a piece of paper to hang on the wall in sumptuous offices. It has to be enforced, and we are going to make sure it is,” said Roland Ct002c president of CUPEs provincial council for the university sector, the CPSU-SCFP, which represents more than 8,000 clerical employees, technicians, trades people and professionals in the sector.

Dialogue has not been enough

“Women make up more than 95% of the clerical group in the university sector, and it often takes them between five and seven years, and sometimes longer, to reach the top of the pay scale, whereas their colleagues in the trades and services group, who dont have echelons in their pay scales, start at the top of the scale as soon as they are hired.

“We tried dialogue and negotiations after signing a letter of agreement on pay equity in 1990. But the pay equity operation from 1991 to 1996 did not put a halt to the discriminatory treatment of women workers in the university sector. Ten years later, the Human Rights Tribunal has now ruled that this treatment violates section 19 of the Charter. So we are turning up the pressure,” concluded the president of the CPSU.

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Roland Ct003c/a> or Ronald Cloutier, (514) 987-6197
Louis Cauchy, (514) 384-9681, ext. 270

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