For the library workers, the contentious issue remains pay equity.
Simon Fraser University political science professor Marjorie Griffin Cohen said a starting salary for a library worker in Vancouver is $27,000, while a labourer working for the city starts at $43,000.
"The union in this case has a very good argument that because the province does not have pay-equity legislation, it's up to the union to negotiate it," she said. "What the library workers are arguing is they're not paid well and they're claiming this entry-level wage is below the poverty line."
The difference between Toronto and Vancouver, said Laura Safarian, a librarian at Vancouver's main downtown branch, is that Ontario has pay-equity legislation, while British Columbia does not.
The library workers want a point system in place that rewards them for their education and skills. Many entry-level workers coming into the municipal library system have master's degrees, but are paid less than entry-level labourers hired by the city who need only a high school diploma.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Toronto Star - Library Workers Refuse to be Quiet
The Toronto Star's Petti Fong summarizes the salary concerns of Vancouver's librarians in her August 25, 2007 article.