Why Pay Equity?
Being paid fairly is a human right. The library is a predominantly female workplace and, as a result, library workers have been underpaid for decades. It is only ethical to pay library workers fairly in a way that compensates them for the required education and skills necessary to do the complex job of facilitating library service.
The City of Burnaby and CUPE 23 agreed to the following method:
- Up to 2% of Library straight-time payroll in 2007 and 1% in each of 2009, 2010 & 2011 to fund adjustments for library classes (of positions) (except Pages) after joint committee review comparing to City positions
Why? The counter argument to pay equity is Supply and Demand. The current supply of Librarians outstrips the demand (available positions.) It further argues that extensive training is not an acceptable criteria to determine pay when the staffing is so readily available.
Pay equity will arrive given national precedents. I believe that there will be an agreement for a joint committee of City of Vancouver and CUPE members to review Library jobs and generate a report by a set deadline. Coquitlam has adopted a process that CUPE supports. I have not found any information online and can not provide any details.
CUPE 391 writes:
"Why improvements for part-time and auxiliary workers?
Almost half of CUPE 391 members are either part-time or auxiliary workers. Of these 380 workers, only 50 members receive any kind of pro-rated health and vacation benefits. The rest of these employees receive only a small percentage in lieu of benefits that comes nowhere near fair compensation.MY VIEW
Multiple demands: - more police officers - cleaner parks - more building inspectors etc. are always coming before city council. If more police are funded then budget cuts hit Park Board or Social Planning.
Public sector budgets are a limited pie.
Given residential tax increases combined with the 1% tax transfer from business to residential taxpayers there is very limited political appeal to raise taxes further.
The outcome will be job losses. Health benefits are costly. Fewer auxiliaries will be utilized. Operating hours would also be reduced to absorb the costs.
Fiscal trade offs define public sector operations.