Friday, August 24

Vancouver's Library Strike: Men get nearly $6 more hourly for similar work, says union.

"Pay equity is a human rights issue," said Laura Safarian, a librarian at VPL's downtown main branch, and a member of her local's bargaining committee.

"Canada has signed on to international agreements that recognize the human rights implications of gender bias in wages. This statement from the city, awkward as it is, represents the first time we've seen any recognition at all of the issue from the employer. We have made significant compromises in our negotiations already, including a reduction in the special wage adjustment we're asking for, for all professional librarians," Safarian added.

Research available on the Local 391 website shows that gender-based pay differentials put library workers far behind male city workers doing work of equal value. Titled "Overdue: Pay Equity for Library Workers," the paper compares hourly wages for an entry-level library assistant (usually a woman, as the VPL workforce is 65 per cent female) with entry-level labourers (a job category that has traditionally been filled by men). The library assistant starts at $15.31 and hour, while the labourer starts at $21.08 an hour.

LINK: The Tyee

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