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.
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.

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