U of T Employees Draw Public Attention to Fair Pay Battle

TORONTO, Jan. 10 /CNW/ - University of Toronto employees have launched a unique advertising campaign in their fight for pay equity at Canada's wealthiest university.

The campaign by U of T administrative and technical staff, represented by the United Steelworkers (USW), includes newspaper ads, social media marketing, on-the-street handbilling and in recent days advertising on bus shelters throughout the city.

"Since 1999 we have been pushing the university to ensure our jobs are paid fairly and without gender bias," says Allison Dubarry, USW Local 1998 president.

"The University of Toronto is Canada's highest-ranking university and it owes much of its success to its staff," says Dubarry. "But our work is often not properly recognized or paid. Over the years, the job-evaluation process has shown there are widespread pay inequities."

The union is attempting to negotiate a plan with the university to end these inequities.

"This is probably one of the largest pay equity projects in Canada. It affects about 3,800 of our members - 70% of whom are women," says Dubarry.

The advertising campaign also decries the fact the pay equity fight continues more than four decades after a landmark victory in the equal-pay-for-equal-work struggle.

The campaign references the Dagenham, U.K., battle for equal pay in 1968. The history-altering fight by British women working in a Ford auto plant has been popularized in the recently released film Made in Dagenham: Women's Work.

"The 1968 struggle fought for fair pay by the women in Dagenham continues today at Canada's wealthiest university, the University of Toronto," the Steelworkers' bus shelter ads state.

"The battle at U of T is part of the ongoing campaign to close Ontario's 29% gender pay gap," says Mary Cornish, Chair, Ontario's Equal Pay Coalition. 

Stuart Deans, the Steelworkers' Toronto-Area Coordinator, says the union "will escalate all our activities in new and creative ways, drawing in the public, government officials, other U of T staff, alumni, related business and research groups.

"Everyone associated with the U of T in any manner will know about this struggle for equity."

The campaign is sponsored by the Steelworkers Toronto Area Council, which represents thousands of workers in the GTA.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information:

Allison Dubarry, USW Local 1998, (416) 506-9090, x224;
allison.dubarry@usw1998.ca.

Mary Cornish, Chair, Equal Pay Coalition, (416) 964-5524,
http://www.equalpaycoalition.org/
mcornish@cavalluzzo.com

Stuart Deans, USW Toronto Area Coordinator, (647) 226-8792,
sdeans@usw.ca


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